Making sleep a priority is practicing the highest form of self-care. Our bodies, to remain at the healthiest potential, need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. For some, however, this amount may seem nearly impossible to achieve. A staggering 79% of Americans get less sleep than what is recommended, many of which suffer from insomnia.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is habitual sleepiness or the inability to sleep. It can be acute, occurring only for a few nights at a time, or it can be chronic, lasting for many years. The risk for insomnia is greater in women of all ages, anyone over the age of 60 years old, if you have a mental health or physical condition, you’re under stress, or you do not practice a regular sleeping schedule.
What are the symptoms of insomnia?
To properly diagnosis insomnia, one should make an appointment with a primary care physician or sleep specialist. A few of the symptoms associated with this type of sleep disorder are the following,
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep throughout the night
- Feeling fatigued in the morning
- Daytime tiredness
- Being overly irritable, anxious, or depressed
- Difficulty focusing or remembering
- Constantly worried about whether you will get sleep
What causes insomnia?
Insomnia is more than just the inability to sleep at night. It is an effect which occurs due to factors that are present during day to day activities or within the body. Insomnia can be caused due to,
- High caffeine intake
- Constant or large amounts of stress
- An irregular sleep schedule, like working the night shift
- Poor bedtime routine habits, such as watching TV or playing on a cellphone
- Mental health conditions
- Medicines such as antidepressants, pain killers
- Other sleep disorders
Any of the above factors can disrupt our normal sleeping patterns. It is vitally important to identify the root cause of the insomnia when receiving a diagnosis, and then work to alter or fix habits until relief is achieved. As results occur, we will realize just how important it is for the body to get a healthy amount of sleep.
While sleeping, our bodies can re-charge, rest and heal. These three actions promote a variety of positive outcomes including increased energy, a stronger immune system, healthier looking skin, decreased feelings of stress and anxiety, and a less chance of resorting to prescription or over-the-counter medications.
How can acupuncture help alleviate insomnia symptoms?
Acupuncture, unlike prescription or over-the-counter medications, gets to the root of why sleep is being disrupted, instead of providing a temporary cure that could have long-lasting consequences. Natural treatment through acupuncture exposes the body to an array of positive benefits that encourage better sleep habits, sometimes even on the first night!
Acupuncture stimulates certain hormones within your body which are helpful in promoting proper sleep cycles. For the body to be at rest and then follow through with a full REM sleep cycle, your parasympathetic or rest and relaxation nervous system must be activated. Through acupuncture treatment the body will be prompted to release natural pain relievers, called Endorphins and Relaxins. Relaxins aid in calming the mind and body, easing feelings of anxiety, stress or depression, and ultimately enhancing sleep.
Some patients, due to the relaxing nature of acupuncture, feel insomnia relief the night after receiving their first treatment! However, following a full treatment plan will ensure a more long-term effect for your sleeping goals.
Deanna Carell Acupuncture wishes to help you achieve insomnia relief by gaining incredible results through acupuncture. We will identify and treat the root causes of your insomnia, ultimately forming healthy and natural sleep habits with long-lasting results