Acupuncture may Alleviate Insomnia
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Acupuncture may Alleviate Insomnia


How Acupuncture may Alleviate Insomnia Symptoms - guest post by SleepHelp.org

If you're not getting enough sleep at night, you may suffer all day. Sleep deprivation from insomnia can leave you feeling fatigued, unable to perform at your best, and even dangerously drowsy as you go about your day.

Many people in America are chronically short on sleep. In fact, 35 percent of American adults sleep less than seven hours each night. If you're one of them, you're at a higher risk of developing chronic conditions including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

There are several treatments available for insomnia, including lifestyle changes, behavioral therapy, and medication. Alternative treatments including chiropractic adjustments, yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture may be helpful as well.

Acupuncture's Effect on Insomnia

Acupuncture can be used to treat conditions that may interfere with healthy sleep. For example, you may see an acupuncturist to treat depression, anxiety, or pain. With relief from these conditions, you may sleep better.

Additionally, acupuncture can increase secretion of melatonin at night. Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps you feel sleepy and drift off at night. A study of anxious adult subjects found that five weeks of acupuncture treatment increased melatonin secretion, improved sleep, and reduced anxiety.

Compared to medication, acupuncture is a low-risk treatment. Acupuncture can have a beneficial effect on insomnia, and it may be especially effective when combined with medications or herbs. But relatively few complications have been reported from acupuncture, unlike the potential side effects of hypnotic drugs used for sleep.

Relieving Insomnia with Acupuncture

Treating insomnia is typically a multi-step challenge. Rarely is there a single treatment that can instantly make you sleep better. But making small lifestyle changes and getting treatment for insomnia can offer relief if you struggle with sleep. Follow these tips to make acupuncture part of your treatment for insomnia.

  • Seek acupuncture treatment for insomnia and related conditions. Talk to your acupuncture practitioner about conditions that bother you, including insomnia. If you experience chronic pain, anxiety, depression, or other conditions that can keep you up at night, ask for treatment for those conditions as well.

  • Talk to your doctor about treatment. Insomnia can stem from conditions including sleep apnea or disease. Discuss your concerns with your doctor and seek treatment for chronic conditions.

  • Improve your overall wellness. Eating well and exercising can help you sleep better at night. Heavy, fatty foods can sit in your stomach and make it difficult to sleep at night as you digest. Exercise can help you burn off energy during the day and feel more ready to fall asleep at night.

  • Relieve stress. Stress is often a barrier to sleep. Acupuncture can help relieve stress, as can other relaxation techniques including yoga, meditation, journaling, and deep breathing.

  • Make your sleep environment healthy. Make sure your bedroom is a comfortable place to sleep. Before you commit to a mattress, compare mattresses online and read reviews so you can be sure you're choosing the right one for your needs.

<< This article was written by Amy Highland, who is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. Her preferred research topics are health and wellness, so Amy's a regular reader of Scientific American and Nature. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.>>

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