Who doesn't love sleep? Unfortunately, almost 40 million people a year suffer from insomnia, and that's just in the United States! Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall or stay asleep, and can be either short term (acute) or long term (chronic).
In Western medicine, a prescription for a sleep aid is a patch on a long-term problem. Unfortunately, none of the medications will address the actual root causes of your trouble sleeping. Many of them become less effective over time as your body adjusts, requiring increasingly high dosages or transitions between medications. A withdrawal effect from certain medications prescribed to help insomnia, such as mirtazapine, is actually insomnia!
What Contributes to Insomnia?
The root causes of insomnia are varied, depending on whether you are suffering from acute or chronic insomnia, or whether you are unable to fall asleep or stay asleep. With that in mind, there are some common ailments that are accompanied by insomnia, such as:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Caffeine, Nicotine, and Alcohol use
Everyone's experience with insomnia is individual, and everyone's Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis will be individual to them. These factors are only a few that can contribute to the disharmony in the body that leads to sleeplessness and difficulty staying asleep.
How Does Acupuncture Help Insomnia?
Acupuncture increases melatonin production, making it easier for the body to regulate its own sleep and waking cycles naturally. The direct stimulation of nerves provided by acupuncture helps ease stress and tension, releasing the tightness in the surrounding muscles and leaving you more relaxed.
Acupuncture also increases the flow of blood through the body; the combination of relaxed muscles and the ability to move blood more effectively makes it easier to heal from the underlying conditions causing the insomnia.
A study conducted in 2016 showed that acupuncture therapy for insomnia had a 90% success rate, as opposed to the slightly higher 92.5% success rate of prescribed mirtazapine for the same condition. However, people who used mirtazapine reported weight gain, increased appetite, dizziness, daytime drowsiness, and constipation, as well as the return of the insomnia when they stopped taking the medication. Acupuncture had no noted side effects.
If you're struggling with insomnia, you aren't alone! Acupuncture can help you achieve better sleep. Call us at (321) 972-2940 to schedule your initial health consultation today.
Acupuncture Rivals Antidepressants For Insomnia And Depression. (2016, February 12). Retrieved from http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1597-acupuncture-rivals-antidepressants-for-insomnia-and-depression
Briggs, A. (2017, December 04). Can acupuncture help to treat insomnia? Retrieved from https://sleepjunkies.com/health/can-acupuncture-help-insomnia/
Sleep Foundation. (n.d.). What is Insomnia? Retrieved from https://sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/content/what-is-insomnia