Sleep is necessary for overall health and appropriate functioning during the day, but not everyone finds it easy. Adults should receive at least seven hours of excellent sleep every night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United States, more than 35% of adults get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.
There are a variety of reasons for short-term or long-term sleep problems, but insomnia is a frequent issue that affects about 30% of individuals. Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, remaining asleep all night, or waking up too early in the morning. These symptoms can persist on a regular basis, for weeks at a time, with no obvious explanation.
Acupuncture is a method of stimulating certain parts of the body by inserting needles into the skin. Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for allergies, asthma, stress, melancholy, and sleeplessness, among other ailments. Let’s dive a little deeper into this.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, even a few disturbed nights of sleep qualifies as a case of insomnia. A night or two of poor sleep isn’t a major issue in and of itself. However, one or two nights of poor sleep may quickly become a chronic issue. The most draining on the body and brain are the repeated nights of unresolved sleep issues.
You’re not alone if you have trouble sleeping. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, roughly 10% of individuals suffer from chronic insomnia, while between 15% and 35% of adults suffer from short-term insomnia that lasts anywhere from a few days to three months. In other words, Insomnia is a sleep problem that affects millions of individuals throughout the world on a daily basis. Insomniacs have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Adults require at least 7–9 hours of sleep each 24-hour period, depending on their age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source.
According to studies, over 25% of people in the United States have insomnia each year, although only about 75% of these people become a long-term issue. Short-term insomnia can cause daytime weariness, concentration difficulties, and other issues. It may enhance the risk of different ailments in the long run.
Diagnosis of Insomnia
The diagnosis of insomnia and the search for its explanation may involve the following, depending on your situation:
Examination of the Body: If the reason for your sleeplessness is unknown, your doctor may do a physical examination to check for evidence of medical issues that might be linked to insomnia. A blood test may be performed on occasion to screen for thyroid disorders or other illnesses that are linked to poor sleep.
Examine Your Sleeping Habits: The doctor may ask you to complete a questionnaire to evaluate your sleep-wake pattern and level of daytime drowsiness, in addition to asking you sleep-related questions. You could be requested to keep a sleep journal for a few weeks as well.
Sleep Review: If the reason for your insomnia isn’t apparent, or you’re showing indications of another sleep problem like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, you might need to spend the night at a sleep clinic. A number of body functions, including brain waves, respiration, heartbeat, eye movements, and body movements, are monitored and recorded as you sleep.
How Acupuncture Aids Sleep?
Acupuncture has eluded modern medicine because it is difficult to define exactly what happens in the body during the procedure. Melatonin, a hormone that makes you drowsy, may be increased by acupuncture. Another hypothesis is that acupuncture increases blood flow to specific sleep-inducing areas of the brain, especially when done on the scalp. Acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating insomnia and other disorders is explained by Chinese medicine. Our bodies are built up of thousands of acupoints that, when balanced, generate “qi,” or vital energy, according to traditional Chinese medicine. A qi imbalance is supposed to obstruct the flow of qi, and acupuncture is said to restore physiological function by rebalancing the body’s flow.
What Does Science Say?
Acupuncture can have a noticeable influence on the neurological system, digestive system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system, and immunological system, according to recent studies. While TCM philosophy holds that the good benefits of acupuncture are tied to the energy movement of qi, Western science is split on how acupuncture works.
The release of peptides that trigger opioid receptors in the brain, which is a system that governs pain, reward, and addictive behavior, is thought to be responsible for the pain-relieving and sleep-inducing effects. Others believe the needles activate neurohormonal pathways, producing pleasant and euphoric beta-endorphin chemicals. Another notion is that acupuncture reduces pain and inflammation by lowering pro-inflammatory indicators.
Acupuncture Can Help With Insomnia & Sleeping Problems
Sedative drugs may be prescribed by your doctor if you have persistent sleeplessness. They may be beneficial in the short term, but they are addictive and might cause tiredness during the day. Acupuncturists look for the underlying cause of insomnia and treat it from that point forward. Although there is some evidence for the use of acupuncture to help with insomnia, most research so far has been conducted on small sample groups.
Your acupuncturist will take a full case history at your initial appointment, looking into many aspects of your life such as general health, job and home concerns, constitutional factors, nutrition, and other lifestyle issues. We’ll go through how we work and what to expect in terms of adjustments. The longer your insomnia lasts, the more difficult it is to get rid of it. Our therapies are designed to aid in long-term improvement.
Certain acupuncture sites have been proven to influence brain regions known to lower sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promote relaxation and deactivate the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for sleeplessness and anxiety.
Acupuncture has been shown to help with:
- Improve Melatonin secretion at night.
- Reduce sympathetic nervous system (stress-related) activity.
- Increase relaxation through regulating the brain’s emotional chemistry.
- Acupuncture and standard insomnia medicine can be used safely together.
Since ancient times in China, acupuncture has been one of the most common treatments for insomnia. This medication, unlike many others that target the sleep-wake cycle, is considered to help sleep by raising serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that also acts as a hormone. It regulates a variety of processes, including mood and sleep. Our practitioners will first establish a diagnosis before treating the symptoms with acupuncture to regulate and create equilibrium inside the body in the treatment of insomnia using traditional Chinese medicine. For more information, contact our health professionals. We are always available to assist our patients.