Acupuncture and Sleep

I often see patients for things like pain relief and stress reduction, but more often than not they also do not sleep well.  Insomnia, whether it is hard time falling or staying asleep, can have a major impact on the way your body operates during the day.  At night the body is designed to rest and make repairs. To function optimally during the day the body needs the right hours and depth of sleep.

Acupuncture can be used as a tool to regulate sleep patterns and get that wake up on the right side of the bed feel.  While it might not turn you into a morning person it can help provide the right sleep so you wake up refreshed rather than dreading the day.  Keep in mind some people naturally sleep better in certain patterns, the trick is to find what works for you and allow for all stages of sleep to be attained for a total of 8 hours.

Most people have heard of at least some of these typical things that can help improve sleep: avoid caffeine eight hours before bedtime, try to go to bed at the same time each night, if sleep is fragmented avoid alcohol, no computer/phone/electronic one hour before bed, try using a white noise machine or guided meditation music, sleep in a dark room (the darker the better), use an eye mask if needed to further darken the space.  There are even more things though that can help.  For example its common knowledge that a warm bath will relax you but did you know that your body sleeps best when it is cooler?  It’s true, what is comfortable during the day is often too hot for night.  Do you sleep more in the winter?  Try lowering the temperature to help signal your body that it’s time to sleep. You can still take that soothing bath but limit the time you are in (fifteen minutes) and/or increase the time between bath and bed. Try this relaxing detox recipe if you aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding: 1 cup Epsom salts, 1 cup baking soda, 5-7 drops essential oils:  lavender, grapefruit, ylang ylang,  roman chamomile, or vanilla and dissolve in a warm tub, soak 15 minutes.

Receiving acupuncture treatments for sleep can help when you are already doing the above and can’t sleep or if your sleep just seems to have gotten off track.  By regulating Qi (your body’s energy system) and balancing the meridians (channels for the Qi) responsible for healthy sleep patterns, acupuncture can help you to attain higher quality sleep.  Healthy sleep is one of the best ways you can take care of yourself and although it can’t increase the hours in the day you might just find more time available when you function more effectively.  Not only do practitioners like me use acupuncture but herbs are a great choice too.  Chamomile tea is just one of many.  Come in for a treatment and see if you are a good fit for Solid Eight from Herbalogic. Sweet dreams!

Amber Wells