By Katie Kuhn
This article was originally published Oct 26, 2017.
Quality sleep is instrumental for long term health, yet many Americans suffer from insomnia. Medication may knock you out but leave you feeling groggy or disoriented the next day. Or maybe you are getting enough hours of sleep but never feel rested in the morning. Acupuncture can help you sleep better and wake more rested.
When you sleep, your body works to restore itself. The brain is working at storing memories and information, making hormones, rejuvenating skin and muscle tissue. Medication may make people tired or induce sleep, but it often does bring about REM or deep sleep. This does not provide the same neurological and health benefits as regular sleep. These same medications can cause habituation and addiction quickly. A 2015 study by the American Journal of Public Health showed that people who were prescribed sleeping pills were twice as likely to be in a car accident as those driving with blood alcohol levels above the legal limit.
Acupuncture works by treating the underlying disease pattern that is causing the sleep disturbance. Taking a sleep history inventory is the first step – do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep? What time you go to bed matters. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, you will have much more restful sleep if you are in bed before 11:00 pm. Do you wake due to vivid dreams or nightmares? Maybe you are waking to urinate frequently, or experience night sweats and hot flashes that drive you crazy. Pain can also make it difficult to get comfortable. Acupuncture can help address all problems which contribute to insomnia. It promotes restful, deep restorative sleep, and positively impacts your overall health.
Some insomnia is due to poor sleep hygiene. Make your bedroom as dark as possible- use curtains, unplug electronics and keep out blue light. Take time to wind down at night, have a nighttime relaxation or meditation routine. Take time to exercise, but earlier in the day. If you have issues with blood sugar, sometimes keeping crackers on your nightstand can help. If you are urinating frequently, possibly decrease water intake in the evening. If pets keep you awake, have them sleep in their own bed or not in your bedroom at all.
If your partner snores and keeps you awake, get them a gift certificate for acupuncture! If you are interested in learning more about acupuncture, contact Katie Kuhn at Huron Point Acupuncture or schedule an appointment today at huronpointacupuncture.com or find a Board Certified acupuncturist at NCCAOM.org/find-a-provider-directory.
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