How Acupuncture Can Help Your Insomnia Symptoms
It's almost impossible to think about anything else when you can't sleep. As yet another sleepless hour passes, you wonder if you'll ever drift off to dreamland or are doomed to spend the rest of the night staring at the clock. Sleeping pills offer one solution but can cause confusion, memory loss, and sleepwalking. Fortunately, acupuncture helps you get the sleep you need without any side effects.
Do You Have Insomnia?
If you've ever struggled to fall asleep or stay asleep, you know how frustrating insomnia can be. Insomnia doesn't just keep you up but also affects the quality of your sleep. Approximately 30% of adults have insomnia, and 10% experience severe insomnia that affects their daytime activities, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
It's difficult to face the day when you don't feel well-rested. Lack of sleep not only affects your concentration and focus at work and on the road but may also increase your risk of chronic health conditions. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute notes that sleep deprivation is linked to a variety of conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and obesity.
Relieving Insomnia with Acupuncture
Acupuncture resets Qi, a type of energy essential for good mental and physical health. Qi travels inside your body through a system of pathways called meridians. In some cases, Qi becomes blocked in the meridians. As a result, you may develop pain, sleeplessness, or other symptoms.
Your acupuncturist releases Qi blockages by inserting tiny needles into your skin. The needles are as thin as a hair and only cause a mild tingling or aching sensation when they're inserted.
Acupuncture offers a proven way to treat insomnia. Patients who participated in an acupuncture research study on insomnia reported significant improvements in sleep at two weeks and four weeks post-treatment, according to a research study published in Sleep Medicine.
Acupuncture's sleep-related benefits include:
- Natural Sleep Aid. Treatments help boost serotonin production in the brain. The neurotransmitter helps your sleep/wake cycle operate optimally. After acupuncture treatments, you'll probably feel a little sleepy. Scheduling your appointment for the afternoon can help you take advantage of the natural sleep-enhancing effects of acupuncture.
- Pain Reduction. Does pain keep you up at night? In addition to triggering the release of serotonin, acupuncture also prompts your body to produce endorphins. The combination of these hormones eases pain naturally and can help you get a better night's sleep.
- Lower Stress. Sleep is impossible when you can't stop thinking about a deadline at work or a family member's health. Serotonin and endorphins not only relieve pain but help you feel more relaxed and content.
- Better Gut Health. Acupuncture helps regulate your digestive system and can prevent symptoms that keep you up at night, like indigestion, heartburn, and diarrhea.
- No More Hot Flashes. Nothing wakes you up faster than a pajama-drenching hot flash in the middle of the night. If you're perimenopausal or post-menopausal, acupuncture can balance your hormones and reduce the number and intensity of hot flashes.
- Control of Restless Leg Syndrome. It's difficult to sleep when you experience an uncomfortable crawling sensation in your legs. Acupuncture relieves your symptoms, making it possible to finally sleep. In a systematic review and meta-analysis published in Annals of Palliative Medicine, researchers noted that acupuncture had a 48% cure rate for restless leg syndrome compared to a 22% cure rate for other therapies.
- Improved Sleep for People with Depression. Depression may also interfere with the quality and quantity of sleep. After receiving electro-acupuncture for eight weeks, patients who received acupuncture treatment rather than sham (fake) treatments reported a significant improvement in sleep quality. Results of the study were published in JAMA Network. Electro-acupuncture involves attaching a mild electrical current to acupuncture needles to boost the effectiveness of the treatment.
Are you battling insomnia? Acupuncture can help you get the rest you need? Contact our office to schedule your appointment.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine: Insomnia
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: What Are Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency, 3/4/2022
Annals of Palliative Medicine: Effectiveness of Acupuncture on the Management of Restless Leg Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, 10/31/2021
Science Direct: Sleep Medicine: Efficacy and Safety of Acupuncture Treatment on Primary Insomnia: A Randomized Controlled Trial, 9/2017
NCBI: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Acupuncture for Treatment of Insomnia: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials, 11/2009
Healthline: How Acupuncture Can Optimize Sleep Patterns and Free You from Insomnia, 5/28/2021
Jama Network: Effect of Electroacupuncture on Insomnia in Patients With Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial, 7/7/2022