Alaska Fishermen Sleep Apnea & Fatigue – Chiropractic Care Benefits


Alaska Fishermen Sleep Apnea & Fatigue - Chiropractic Care Benefits
We used to think that sleep wasn’t such a big deal. It was (and still is) “cool” to operate on only 5 or 6 hours of sleep per night. You hear entrepreneurs and successful executives talking about how they don’t sleep much because they have too much to do. And people are surprised when these same executives and entrepreneurs develop serious health problems or struggle with mental health issues.

Bad Sleep Carries Over

Studies show how important sleep is. And some studies of Alaska fishermen show that getting adequate sleep is a serious problem. During the fishing season, workers have odd hours that limit their ability to get adequate sleep. Unfortunately, this tends to carry over in the off season in the form of fatigue and even sleep apnea.

And when you don’t get enough sleep, your body and mind have a hard time keeping healthy. But you may be surprised to know that chiropractic care can help you sleep better, in addition to many other health benefits! Click the link and schedule an appointment at our Better Health offices so we can help you sleep better!

Sleep Apnea and Fatigue

When you think of sleep apnea, chances are you picture one of those masks with tubes on it and sound like Darth Vader makes. And while these machines help people with sleep apnea, many who suffer from this condition don’t realize that they have a problem.

The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea, and it happens when the throat muscles relax during sleep, partially obstructing the airway. This obstruction causes the brain to wake the body up to breathe properly. However, most people don’t remember waking up during the night — which can happen anywhere from five to 30 times per hour. This is more common in men than women, and most common in those who are overweight or obese.

Even those fishermen without sleep apnea are more likely to suffer from fatigue, thanks to the consistent lack of quality sleep and the strange hours. Studies show that fatigue makes prolonged physical exertion harder, which is bad news for fishermen. Fatigue can also contribute to mental health issues.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

Chiropractors view the body as one interconnected unit. They know that fatigue and sleep apnea can be tied to other factors in the body, such as obesity, high blood pressure, nasal congestion, or even spinal subluxations. As such, they take a multifaceted approach to treating fatigue and sleep apnea. This approach includes chiropractic care and massage therapy.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors are specialists in the musculoskeletal system. They focus mainly on correcting spinal misalignments, herniated discs, sciatica, pinched nerves, and other issues that originate in the spine. They also can help with posture analysis, sleeping positions, and other health factors.

  • Spinal Adjustments
    • While most likely not the sole cause, a misalignment of the cervical spine could be contributing to issues breathing and getting into a deep sleep. A corrected spinal misalignment could help with better sleep.
  • Posture Analysis and Sleep Positions
    • Posture is such a big part of our overall health, especially when it comes to proper breathing. A chiropractor can analyze and help you correct any posture misalignments. He or she can also give you pointers on how best to sleep so your airway doesn’t become obstructed during the night.
  • Health Factors
    • One of the best things you can do for fatigue and sleep apnea is to lose weight if you’re overweight or obese. And a chiropractor can help you do this. Many chiropractors are trained nutritionists, and they can help you develop healthy eating and lifestyle habits so you can lose weight and stay healthy.

Chiropractic Massage Therapy

Getting a massage from a trained therapist at the direction of a chiropractor can help in a number of ways. Studies show that massage therapy can:

  • Reduce Stress
  • Release Positive Hormones
  • Improve Blood Flow
  • Increase Relaxation
  • Increase Mobility
  • Reduce Muscle Tension

One study even showed that massage therapy helped cancer patients get better sleep. This is why we combine chiropractic care and massage therapy at Better Health Chiropractic and Physical Rehab. We’ve helped thousands of Alaskans get their health back, and that includes getting a good night’s sleep consistently.


We’re one big family here in Alaska. We take care of each other. And that means helping those that work the hardest: fishermen. Without adequate sleep, your quality of life begins to fade, which affects the lives of those around you. Plus, a lack of sleep can cause fatigue, which can be extremely dangerous, especially for those working already-dangerous jobs.

But there are natural, non-invasive, and safe ways you can get better sleep and enjoy Better Health. Contact us today to take the first step to better sleep, less stress, and an improved quality of life.


Dr. Brent Wells

About the Author

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C.

Dr. Brent Wells is an actively practicing chiropractic physician that has personally led over 10,000 Alaskans to more active, pain-free lifestyles since 1998. He is the founder of Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Anchorage and Juneau where he brings a progressive and highly innovative approach to chiropractic care. Dr. Wells continues to further his education with ongoing studies in spine conditions, neurology, physical rehabilitation, biomechanics, occupational ergonomics, whiplash, and brain injury traumatology. He is also a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians.

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