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Insomnia and acupuncture

Insomnia: Sleep like a baby with acupuncture

Quality sleep is instrumental for long term health, yet insomnia is extremely common. We ask every patient about their sleep habits, as they can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and early death. Acupuncture can help you sleep better and wake more rested.

When you sleep, your body works to restore itself. The brain is working at storing memories and information, making hormones, rejuvenating skin and muscle tissue. Medication may make people tired or induce sleep, but it often does bring about REM or deep sleep. This does not provide the same neurological and health benefits as regular sleep. These same medications can cause habituation and addiction quickly. A 2015 study by the American Journal of Public Health showed that people prescribed sleeping pills were twice as likely to be in a car crash, as likely to be in a car accident as those driving with blood alcohol levels above the legal limit.

Acupuncture works by treating the underlying disease pattern that is causing the sleep disturbance. Taking a sleep history is the first step- do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep? What time you go to bed matters. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, you will have much more restful sleep if you are in bed before 11pm. Acupuncture can help increase the level of melatonin, which regulates our sleep and wake cycles. Do you wake due to vivid dreams or nightmares? Maybe you are waking to urinate frequently, or night sweats and hot flashes are driving you crazy. Pain can also make it difficult to get comfortable. Acupuncture can help address all of these problems contributing to insomnia. It promotes restful, deep restorative sleep, which positively impacts overall health. Acupuncture is incredible at relieving stress, a common cause of sleep disturbances.

Some insomnia is due to poor sleep hygiene. Make your bedroom as dark as possible- use curtains, unplug electronics and keep out blue light. Take time to wind down at night, have a nighttime relaxation or meditation routine. Take time to exercise, but earlier in the day. If you have issues with blood sugar, sometimes keeping crackers on your nightstand can help. If you are urinating frequently, possibly decrease water intake in the evening. If pets keep you awake, have them sleep in their own bed or not in your bedroom at all.

Whether you have difficulty falling or staying asleep, or just never feel rested, acupuncture can help!

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