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Conquer Insomnia: Acupuncture’s Role in Restoring Restful Sleep

Insomnia can make it tough to get deep, restful sleep. Here’s a simpler breakdown of its effects:

  • Around one-third of adults face insomnia at some point in their lives.
  • Untreated insomnia can lead to daytime fatigue, reducing focus and decision-making abilities.
  • It can affect motor skills, potentially causing risky situations like drowsy driving.
  • Insomnia weakens your immune system, making your body susceptible to diseases.

Have you thought about acupuncture for insomnia? It’s an effective alternative solution.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) classifies insomnia into two categories: true insomnia and transitory insomnia.

True insomnia includes individuals who struggle with falling asleep, those who awaken in the early morning hours, those who experience light and restless sleep filled with dreams and nightmares, and those who can’t sleep at all. Acupuncture for insomnia can be particularly beneficial in managing these conditions.

Transitory insomnia, contrastingly, results from temporary factors such as environmental noise, weather shifts, recent emotional disturbances, or changes in lifestyle. Normal sleep patterns typically resume once these conditions normalise.

TCM suggests that insomnia springs from either excess or deficiencies within the body. Here are a few examples:

  • Deep-seated emotions: Prolonged feelings of anger, depression, or worry can stagnate the liver’s qi or life force, creating a disturbance in the mind.
  • Overconsumption: Excessive eating or drinking leads to phlegm accumulation, which transforms into heat and causes mind disturbances.
  • Yin deficiency in the kidneys: Common among light sleepers, this condition can cause a hyperactive and restless mind due to the failure of calming and cooling the heart.
  • Deficiencies in the heart and spleen: Mostly seen in senior citizens and those recuperating from surgery or a prolonged illness, an overworked spleen fails to nourish the heart with fresh blood, leading to chronic insomnia.

In all these scenarios, acupuncture for insomnia can be instrumental in restoring balance.

Addressing Insomnia with Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

While conventional insomnia treatments involving prescription medications may lead to side effects or dependency, acupuncture for insomnia presents a natural alternative. Research conducted at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health reveals that acupuncture treatments for insomnia can lower anxiety levels and enhance melatonin production, leading to an average increase of 1.4 hours in sleep time.

Acupuncture and TCM can treat insomnia by reducing excesses and replenishing deficiencies, thereby restoring balance in the body. The effectiveness of these treatments is further enhanced by supporting lifestyle changes.

Such changes include:

  • Consistency in sleeping and waking schedules: Training your mind and body to recognize rest times can be beneficial.
  • Avoid forcing sleep: Trying hard to sleep often keeps the mind awake. Instead, close your eyes, breathe slowly, and let your mind wander until you fall asleep.
  • Incorporating daily exercise: Schedule your workout at least 6 hours before bedtime as exercising later might hinder falling asleep.
  • Avoiding stimulants before bedtime: Avoid caffeine, nicotine, watching television, or using mobile devices before sleep. Alcohol might make you drowsy initially, but it can cause restlessness throughout the night.
  • Creating relaxation rituals: Enjoy a calming bath, listen to soothing music, practice yoga, or meditate to relax your mind and body before sleep.
  • Eating light meals at least three hours before sleep: Heavy meals can cause digestion problems. Eating healthy snacks at regular intervals throughout the day can prevent late-night hunger.

Consult with a trusted acupuncturist or TCM practitioner today and explore the benefits of acupuncture for insomnia. Natural therapies not only address insomnia but also improve your overall well-being. Contact us to find out how our natural, holistic approach can help treat

Written by

Dr Scott Ling
Dr. Scott Ling is the Chief Chinese Medicine Practitioner and Acupuncturist and the founder of Sustain Health. He holds a PHD Doctorate Degree in Chinese medicine from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine. Dr Ling’s extensive qualifications also include a Master of Reproductive Medicine (western medicine). Due to his unique medical background, Dr Ling’s approach stresses on the integration of Chinese and Western medicine to ensure patients get the greatest benefits from the best of both medical systems.
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