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An estimated 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women fail to get a good night’s sleep. This situation gets worse as we age. If you suffer from depression, you might be more likely to have problems sleeping. Consider there are over eight million doctors’ visits per year are for insomnia.
A significant study on treating insomnia concluded that acupuncture was more effective than benzodiazepines (sedative hypnotic psychoactive drugs) for treating insomnia. The effective rate for acupuncture was 91%, while benzodiazepines were only 75% effective.
Both Acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas can greatly improve sleeping patterns. Insomnia may have a variety of causes such as stress, depression, medication, irregular work schedules, major life changes, chronic pain or arthritis. Plus, acupuncture does not have any of the risks that drugs have, such as toxic accumulations in your body, addiction or withdrawal.
How Does Acupuncture Work For Insomnia?
At our Edina Acupuncture clinic we use a special system of acupuncture that has a calming effect on your nervous system by enhancing your parasympathic nervous system. The benefits of acupuncture include deeper breathing, more regular heartbeat, improved digestion, relaxation of smooth muscles, better sleeping patterns, decrease in various pains and a general sense of well being (all excellent treatments for insomnia). A general acupuncture protocol for treating chronic insomnia may include 6-12 initial treatments at two to three time per week, followed by a two to four week observation period and possibly treatments later on.
Tips To Improve your Sleep
• Value your sleep…feel good about making time for it.
• Create an evening ritual and a fixed bedtime. Being creatures of habit, our internal rhythms thrive on ritual and routine.
• Refrain from eating and drinking for at least two hours before bedtime.
• Slow down, don’t come screeching halt. Make the last couple of hours before bed a gradual process of transitioning from activity and stimulation. Turn off the TV, radio, and computer.
• Try not to have intense conversations before bed. Allowing your nervous system to unwind and preparing for sleep is important.
• Treat yourself to a hot foot soak or hot bath.
• Make sure your bedroom is dark and stays dark.
• Wear warm socks to bed. Our temperature drops almost a full degree from evening to morning. Cold feet can wake you up in the night. Keep them warm.
• Find some sunlight in the middle of the day. In accordance with darkness at night, sunlight during the day promotes a healthy circadian rhythm. If you are in the northern reaches of the country, think about full-spectrum lights designed just for this purpose.
It can be scary and frustrating when any health problem takes away your control. Acupuncture leads you back to a place of calm, giving you the power to “lay your insomnia to rest permanently.”