Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for Insomnia
Can’t Sleep? Acupuncture and Chinese medicine for insomnia may be the answer you’re looking for. If you are like one of the 70 million Americans who suffer from sleep disorders and wakefulness, then keep reading. It is estimated that 1 out 3 people suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. Not only is it extremely frustrating when you can’t sleep, it may also lead to health problems, decreased immune function, headaches and dizziness, as well as impair your memory.
Insomnia can be characterized by various presentations, including difficulty falling asleep, frequently waking during the night, wakefulness, light sleep, dream disturbed sleep and inability to sleep the whole night through. Ideally we should all be getting 6-8 hours of sleep each night. With our busy lives and hectic schedules it can be difficult to shut our brains off when we lay our heads down on our pillows. With some simple changes to your nightly routine and your bedroom as well as with the help of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, you too can be sleeping like a baby.
From a Chinese medicine point of view the amount or quality of sleep depends on your state of mind, which is rooted in the heart and nourished by heart blood and yin. Insomnia is caused by factors that may agitate the heart or malnourish the mind. Things such as emotional stress, prolonged illness, and improper diet are all factors that may lead to insomnia. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help to bring your body back into balance by treating the body and mind on an energetic level. Acupuncture is extremely relaxing and provides deep restoration and balance to the nervous system. An acupuncturist will take your individual symptoms into account and develop a plan of care that specifically addresses your particular imbalances.
In addition to acupuncture and Chinese medicine, here is a short list of things that you can start doing right now to help you get a better night’s sleep:
- Sleep in complete darkness: Getting black out curtains in your bedroom or a wearing an eye mask will help with your melatonin production. You should not be able to see your hands in front of your face when you lay down. Any thing that emits light, such as alarm clocks, cover them up and place away from your head.
- No TV, computers, work, etc. before bed: These things are too stimulating to the brain right before bed. Try shutting these things off or stopping your work at least one hour before bed. Two hours is optimal. This will give your mind a chance to unwind and take the focus of any deadlines or tomorrow’s to – do list. Also, reserve your bed for sleeping and not for watching TV, working on the computer, etc.
- Get to bed before 11:00 pm: Try to be in bed and asleep before 11:00 pm. This is the time where the yang energy (signified by movement, sun, energetic, etc) starts to come back into the night and getting to sleep before 11:00 can greatly enhance your ability to fall asleep. Between 11:00 pm and 1:00 am our bodies also do most of its recharging, especially our adrenals and the gall bladder also dumps toxins during this time.
- Establish a bedtime routine: Try to find something that relaxes you and do that consistently before bed. This could be mediation, getting a massage from your partner, deep breathing, soaking your feet in hot, salt water, listen to a mediation CD
- Stop drinking liquids two hours before bed: Stopping liquids two hours before bed will help with needing to get up to use the bathroom.
If you are experiencing trouble sleeping, then call my office today at 503-789-7661 to schedule your first appointment and see how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you. ..