Can Acupuncture Help with Sleep Deprivation?
It's difficult to function during the day when insomnia prevents you from falling or staying asleep. Sleeping pills offer a short-term remedy, but the pills can cause unpleasant side effects and may even trigger sleepwalking and hallucinations. Fortunately, acupuncture treatment can help you get the sleep you desperately need.
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture offers a drug-free way to recover from injuries, manage the symptoms of chronic conditions, and reduce stress. The treatment improves and balances the flow of Qi throughout your body. Qi is a vital energy that helps you maintain good physical and emotional health. If the flow is disrupted by a blockage, you may develop symptoms ranging from an upset stomach to an aching back to migraine headaches.
During treatments, your acupuncturist inserts hair-thin needles into your skin at specific points that correspond to the blockages. When the needles are inserted, you may feel a dull ache, warmth or a tingling sensation, or might feel nothing at all.
Although many people associate acupuncture with pain relief, treatments also offer an excellent way to address sleep issues.
What Acupuncture Can Do for Your Sleep Problems
Acupuncture can help improve your sleep in several ways, including:
- Reducing Pain: Getting a good night's sleep is difficult if you suffer from chronic pain. Acupuncture treatments are particularly effective in reducing the frequency of tension headaches, preventing migraines, controlling neck, lower back, and osteoarthritis or knee pain, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. It can also be helpful in relieving other types of pain.
- Managing Chronic Symptoms: Gastrointestinal issues, allergies, and other chronic health problems may also affect your ability to sleep well. Acupuncture can reduce these symptoms and may even help decrease your reliance on medications.
- Decreasing Stress: It's hard to fall asleep when you can't stop reliving the day or worrying about family or work problems. Acupuncture treatments trigger the releases of natural body chemicals that produce a sense of calm and well-being.
- Increasing Melatonin Production: Sleep deprivation can be related to lower-than-normal melatonin levels. If you don't produce adequate amounts of melatonin, your normal sleep and wake cycle may be disrupted. Acupuncture treatment can help increase melatonin production and help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Eliminating Sleeping Pills: Acupuncture worked better than sleeping pills in treating insomnia in a Chinese study. The medication estazolam was 67.5 percent effective in controlling insomnia, while acupuncture had an effectiveness rating of 92.5 percent.
- Improving Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea disrupts sleep by triggering hundreds of breathing pauses during the night. The condition may occur if your tongue falls back against your airway, decreasing the normal flow of air to your lungs. Sleep apnea leaves you feeling constantly tired and may increase your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and depression. Acupuncture treatment can strengthen your tongue, which may prevent it from blocking your airway.
- Preventing Jet Lag: Jet lag affects your sleep for days, preventing you from enjoying your vacation or affecting your work performance. Visiting your acupuncturist before you travel can help you avoid the uncomfortable effects of jet lag.
Has sleep deprivation left you feeling constantly tired, depressed or irritable? Acupuncture can help you manage your insomnia symptoms. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.