You settle into a warm, comfortable bed, close your eyes and nothing happens, you just can’t fall asleep. Hours go by and still you’re awake. The next day you feel tired, grouchy, and are unable to focus. Does this sound familiar?
Sleepless nights happen to almost everyone at some time, but ongoing insomnia can indicate a deeper issue and could lead to further health concerns. Unfortunately, a common approach to treating insomnia includes prescription sleeping medications, which can cause side effects or even dependence. That’s one of the many reasons to consider an all-natural approach to treating your sleep problems. Acupuncture can be a very effective way to improve your sleep quality without side effects.
One bad night…or an ongoing issue? Occasional insomnia is a very common problem, affecting about one in four Americans. It can happen to anyone, but is more common in older adults. Its symptoms include:
Difficulty falling asleep
Waking up during the night
Waking up too early
Daytime fatigue and irritability
Frustration and moodiness
According to the theories of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), insomnia can stem from a number of causes such as stress, anxiety, medications, depression, and chronic pain. To determine the underlying causes of your insomnia, I would take into account many factors, including your lifestyle and emotional and mental well-being.
With this ancient form of healthcare, you can treat your symptoms, improve your overall health and well-being, and start looking forward to a great night’s sleep, every night.
Tips for Healthy Sleep
- Stick to a regular schedule.
- Plan to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Stay active. Exercise regularly, but not within a few hours of bedtime.
- Don’t eat large meals before bed.
- Try not to nap. If you really need to nap, try to keep it short, less than 45 minutes.
- Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. All of these can add to sleep problems.
- Relax. Try taking a warm bath, meditating, or reading to wind down before going to sleep.
Overcoming Insomnia: How to achieve peaceful quality sleep. Acupuncture.com. Accessed Feb. 1, 2008. http://www.acupuncture.com/conditions/insomniac.htm
Insomnia. MayoClinic.com. March 16, 2007. http://mayoclinic.com/health/insomnia/DS00187