Acupuncture Chinese medicine and insomnia
You settle into a warm comfortable bed, close your eyes and nothing happens, you just can’t fall asleep. Hours go by and still you’re awake. The next day you feel tired, grouchy, and are unable to focus.
Does this sound familiar?
Sleepless nights happen to almost everyone at some time, but ongoing insomnia can indicate a deeper issue and could lead to further health concerns. Unfortunately, a common approach to treating insomnia including prescription sleeping medications can cause side effects or even dependence. That’s one of the many reasons to consider an all natural approach to treating your sleep problems.
Chinese medicine acupuncture may be an alternative way to improve your sleep quality naturally.
One bad night, or an ongoing issue?
Occasional insomnia is a very common problem, affecting about one in four person. It can happen to anyone, but is more common in older adults. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking up during the night
- Waking up too early
- Frustration and moodiness
Insomnia can be very frustrating but it’s more than an annoyance. When insomnia becomes ongoing, or chronic, your body is unable to get the rest and renewal it needs so that you can feel your best.
In fact, a lack of quality sleep can cause problems such as difficulty concentrating, diminished energy, low mood, and trouble performing everyday tasks.
Since sleep strengthens the immune system, insomnia can leave you susceptible to many other health concerns. Luckily, you don’t have to just “put up with” chronic insomnia.
Insomnia Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) view
According to the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), conditions such as insomnia are a sign of an imbalance in Qi – the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness.
This imbalance can stress from a number of causes such as stress, anxiety, medications, depression and chronic pain.
To determine the underlying causes of your insomnia, we will take into account many factors, including your lifestyle and emotional and mental well-being. We will then work in attempt to restore the balance and flow of the Qi with acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine.
We may also suggest aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, or other additional therapies and life style changes. You may find that you sleep better after your very first session, though you will most likely receive the most benefit from a series of treatments.
Your Chinese medicine doctor is trying to get to the root of your sleep issues by taking into account all of the factors that may be contributing to your sleep disturbance. With this ancient form of health care, you can improve your overall health and well-being, and start looking forward to a great night’s sleep, every night.
Here are a few questions your practitioner may ask
They help to refine your specific diagnosis:
- Do you have difficulty falling asleep?
- Do you have difficulty staying asleep?
- Is your sleep filled with vivid dreams?
- Is it difficult to calm you mind at night?
- Is it difficult to sleep on your back? This can relate to a excess condition of the lungs or heart meridians.
- Do you only sleep on your back with outstretched arms? This can reflect a pattern of excess heat.
- Do you prefer to sleep on your stomach or side? This could indicate a deficient condition.
7 tips for healthy sleep
- Stick to a regular schedule;
- Plan to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day;
- Stay active. Exercise regularly, but not within a few hours of bedtime;
- Don’t eat large meals before bed;
- Try not to nap. If you really need to nap, try to keep it short, less than 30 minutes;
- Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. All of these can add to sleep problems;
- Relax. Try taking a warm bath, meditation, or reading to wind down before going to sleep.
Can acupuncture and Chinese medicine improve sleep?
If you are experiencing chronic or severe insomnia, it’s crucial to seek professional help from a healthcare provider or sleep specialist for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate treatment.
Additionally as each person is different, it’s important to consult with a qualified practitioner of Chinese medicine like us at Almond Wellness Centre. You will have personalised treatment recommendations based on your specific condition and underlying imbalances.
To know if acupuncture Chinese medicine could be beneficial to your sleep, please contact us directly.
Acupuncture for insomnia
A systematic review published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2019 analyzed 73 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on acupuncture for insomnia. The review found that acupuncture demonstrated a potential benefit in improving sleep quality and reducing insomnia severity. However, the overall quality of the acupuncture studies was low, and more well-designed RCTs are needed to draw definitive conclusions.
Author’s conclusions: Acupuncture compared to sham/placebo and pharmacotherapy showed statistically significant results. However, the evidence is limited by bias in the included studies and heterogeneity. Well-designed studies are needed to confirm the results identified in this review.
Chinese herbal medicine for insomnia
The electronic databases including PubMed, EmBase, Cochrane library, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure were searched to identify the RCTs published from inception till July 2018.
The findings of this meta-analysis indicated that CHM could significantly improve the symptoms of insomnia than placebo for patients with primary insomnia.