How Acupuncture Promotes the Quality and Duration of Sleep

In order to begin and maintain sleep the autonomic nervous system and hormones need to be balanced. Several studies have revealed that with acupuncture therapies the restoration of homeostasis can be restored and the balance of the natural chemicals in the central nervous system can be maintained.

1. Acupuncture improves the quality of sleep by boosting blood flow in the body – A study led by Hecht observed the connection between sleeplessness (insomnia) and blood circulation. The study saw that when the flow of blood to the brain was insufficient, it led to low blood sugar levels and involuntary waking from sleep. Another study dealt with the consequences of poor circulation to the brain on the malfunctioning of different organs. Most of the subjects whose blood pressure in the head was extremely low (< 30 mmHg bilaterally), experienced sleeping difficulties but occasionally, also various levels of irritability, forgetfulness especially of recent events, concentration problems, and extreme sleepiness. A person may still experience low blood pressure in the head even with normal or higher blood pressure in the arm. It has been revealed that with electro-acupuncture stimulation of the GB 20 and St 36 acupoints (just below the occipital bone, between the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius attachments) insomnia can be treated by raising the circulation of blood to the brain.

2. Acupuncture causes the body to manufacture more melatonin – The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience published an article that examined the connection between acupuncture treatments and melatonin. Researchers saw that there was a significant increase in the secretion of endogenous melatonin in all 18 participants suffering from severe insomnia who were treated with acupuncture for five weeks, two times a week. Based on muscular and electrical measurements during the subjects’ entire sleeping time, it was shown that the subjects took less time to fall asleep, had a longer total sleeping time, experienced fewer instances of waking up during sleep, and enjoyed deep sleep time, after acupuncture treatments. Fatigue, depression, and anxiety were also reduced. Interestingly, alertness in the morning was also decreased.

3. Acupuncture in Bellmore treats insomnia by reducing stress hormones in the bloodstream – People who constantly overwork and over-think are under chronic stress, their bodies overproduce cortisol that keep them awake and alert during the daytime. People experiencing acute stress causes their body to manufacture norepinephrine and adrenaline (epinephrine). Both these stress hormones profoundly affect a person’s quality of sleep. A Pennsylvania State University study led by Vgontzas evaluated the connection of chronic insomnia to the process of the stress system. The study rated the levels of norepinephrine, free cortisol, and the subjects’ urine and discovered that the level of free cortisol positively correlated with total wake time; the duration of stage 1 sleep positively correlated with levels of norepinephrine but negatively with stage 3 and 4 (deep) sleep duration. Both systems connected to the stress system (the sympathetic nervous system and adrenal gland systems) are responsible for the disturbances in sleep experienced in chronic insomnia. So, when we are stressed, sleep tends to become lighter which causes us to wake up more frequently. With acupuncture we can reduce our stress hormone levels, lessening wake time and raising time for deep sleep. Cortisone is widely known to affect sleep as seen when one gets a shot of hydro cortisone.

4. Acupuncture relieves pain – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia conducted a study dealing with the effects of chronic pain on adolescents’ sleep patterns. The study found that there was no difference between the healthy control group and the pain group in bedtime and total sleep time. But the group with chronic pain experienced more instances of night waking, significantly longer onset of sleep latency, later wake times in the morning, and more signs of daytime sleepiness. Acupuncture produces a powerful analgesic effect which can assist people suffering from pain enhance their quality of sleep.

5. Acupuncture slows down the effects of aging – Systemic inflammation, edema or fluid retention, erectile dysfunction, insomnia, constipation, irregular and increased heartbeats, and other signs of aging can ensue when parasympathetic function starts to weaken. These effects can, in turn, increase the risk of several common health conditions associated with aging, including arteriosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Type-II diabetes, and cancer. The restoration and maintenance of parasympathetic function may slow the aging process and improve the functions of the internal organs. It has been proven that acupuncture has the ability to improve the function of the parasympathetic nervous system.

To conclude, by enhancing optimizing the metabolism and manufacturing of chemicals that help balance our nervous systems and affect sleep, acupuncture can support the duration and proper pattern of sleep.

Acupuncture Can Help You Cure Your Insomnia

If you have trouble sleeping, you definitely are not alone. If you haven’t had a good night’s sleep for two or three nights in a row, then you may be suffering from insomnia. If you are wary of taking drugs to address your problem, then you need to try acupuncture. This Eastern style of treatment can help you sleep better again as it is known to remove the factors that cause you to be wide awake at night. When you come in for treatment, be prepared with information about your insomnia. You can also follow the following advices that can help you get a good night’s rest.

What you can do, first of all is to sit down and write down questions on why you think makes you unable to sleep at night.

– How do you sleep? Do you sleep on our stomach or do you tend to curl up in a fetal position? Why do you sleep? Do you tend to toss and during your sleep? Do you sleep because “it’s your time to go to bed or because you are tired?
– When do you sleep? Is it hard for you to follow set time to go to bed or do the happenings of the past day interfere with your regular sleep pattern?
– Where do you sleep? Do you tend to fall asleep on the couch and then go to your bed later on?
– What keeps you awake? Is it a pet in bed with you or do you often have a runaway mind when you lie in bed?

Those questions can assist both your doctor, or healthcare provider and yourself into choosing the most effective acupuncture treatment for you. They can also help you pinpoint the exact cause of your insomnia.

Some healthy tips to consider that can help you overcome your insomnia:

1. Ask yourself if the place you are sleeping is actually the cause of your insomnia. A lot of people begin their “sleeping time” on the couch. Afterwards they transfer to their bed. The problem begins when they can’t get back to sleep after they are in bed. Sleeping on the couch, or any place other than your bed can bring about insomnia. This may be because your sleep got disturbed when you got up and walked to your bed.

2. The time when you sleep can affect the quality of your rest. The time between 10 pm and 6 am is the best time to go to sleep. Studies have shown that the time between 11:00pm and 2:00am is the time we go into our deepest sleep. This is the time when our body regenerates and releases healing hormones.

3. If possible, go to bed each night at the same time. You develop a habit when you set a schedule and follow it regularly. Doing something for 21 days straight becomes a habit eventually. Most people go to sleep by exhausting and tiring themselves which is not bad at all.

Getting acupuncture, following the three abovementioned advices as well as not doing cardio exercises within 5 hours of going to sleep and not drinking caffeine drinks or sodas can help you indeed get some quality sleep.

Vital Gate Acupuncture
107 W 82nd St
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-4244

Home

Thousands of Years Used as a Treatment, Acupuncture is a Sure-fire Way of Curing Insomnia

Sleep is utterly essential for the body to function effectively. Our life will be affected negatively if we do not get enough sleep. People who have a problem falling asleep or getting adequate sleep will seek ways to treat their problem. Many forms of treatment are available when finding ways to treat insomnia.

Insomnia can be resolved with medications. There are a wide variety of sleeping medications available in the market, but frankly speaking, most of these medications don’t provide the best solution to your problem. There are also very old but incredibly effective treatments that can be used to treat your insomnia. One of the best and oldest forms of treatment for insomnia in Maitland is acupuncture.

Acupuncture, in the minds of many people, may seem a strange way of treating insomnia; furthermore, it is not considered a mainstream treatment for insomnia. However, acupuncture has been used for thousands of years by countless numbers of people throughout the ages with great success. Surely, if it wasn’t as a great way to cure insomnia, it wouldn’t be so highly touted as a treatment for insomnia anymore. We can then safely assume that acupuncture is a good form of treatment for people suffering from sleeping problems.

It is important to understand first the reasons why certain people suffer from insomnia, if you’re wondering exactly how acupuncture can cure this problem. Each person is unique in terms of his/her body constitution and in the way he/she manifests his/her condition. Knowing this fact will make it easy for you to understand why acupuncture is such a fantastic treatment option for insomnia.

Insomnia can be caused by the following factors:

1. Pain – Pain is one of the most common reasons why people find it hard to sleep. You will find it extremely difficult to sleep or relax if you are in pain. To stop or lessen the pain, acupuncture can be used. Once acupuncture resolves the pain, sleep may come easier for the person. Long term acupuncture treatments may be necessary in order to cure or at least treat this problem.

2. Anxiety and Stress – For people under severe anxiety or stress the whole day, it may be very hard for them to unwind and relax at the end of the day. This can result in insomnia because your brain won’t stop thinking about something. Acupuncture can be used to help alleviate anxiety and stress which can enable the person to relax his mind and body at the end of the day giving him/her the chance to sleep restfully when he/she goes to bed.

3. Addiction – You may find it very hard to sleep if you are addicted to any number of substances, more so if it’s caffeine. Acupuncture is a powerful treatment for substance or behavioral addiction. Addiction to caffeine is not really a serious addiction problem but it does activate the mind and make it hard for the person to relax and sleep.

For people suffering from a severe form of insomnia, it can affect every aspect of their lives. A lot of sleeping medications may be too strong for you and damage your health. A lot of these drugs also may not really be that effective, as well. Treating insomnia with acupuncture has been proven for centuries to work time and time again. This type of treatment is a much safer one than sleeping pills and it works naturally to resolve the underlying factors that cause sleeping difficulties. It helps increase the body’s ability to heal itself. With acupuncture, you may not even need any additional treatment for your insomnia.

Acupuncture for insomnia usually involves just a few sessions of treatment. If pain or stress makes sleep impossible, then you may need a few more visits. But after your treatment is completed, it can lead to the complete cure of your condition.

Several Ways in Which Acupuncture Can Help Cure Your Insomnia

The autonomic nervous system and hormones of the person need to be balanced in order to become sleepy, fall asleep and preserve that sleep. Several research works have demonstrated acupuncture’s ability to uphold the balance of biological chemicals in the central nervous system and bring about the attainment of homeostasis.

Lowering stress hormones with acupuncture helps resolve insomnia

Too much work or thinking leads to chronic stress and this causes the body to manufacture more of the stress hormone known as cortisol to help us become alert during the day. Two other stress hormones, norepinhephrine and epinephrine (adrenalin) are manufactured by the body in huge amounts when we are suffering from acute stress. This type of stress is what is known as the fight/flight response. Both adrenalin and norepinhephrine can deeply impact the way we sleep. Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University observed studied the link between the stress system function to that of chronic insomnia. The researchers analyzed the urine of the participants’ for amounts of growth hormone, as well as that of their norepinephrine and cortisol in the urine and discovered that the free cortisol amount was in positive correlation to that of cumulative wake period; the amount of norepinephrine was in positive correlation to that of stage one sleep duration but in negative correlation to that of stage 3 as well as stage 4 sleep, which are sleep in their deeper stages. The sympathetic nervous system as well as the adrenals account for the disruptions of sleep in chronic insomnia. Sleep is much lighter for a person who is stressed so that person tends to wake up more often. Since acupuncture is known to be an excellent reducer of stress, it can thus lower the levels of stress hormones in the body that helps enhance deep sleep time and lower wake time. A lot of doctors are aware that when a person gets a shot of hydrocortisone, it can affect that person’s sleeping quality.

Acupuncture helps alleviate pain

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia examined the impact of chronic pain on the quality of sleep. They saw that there was nothing dissimilar between the two groups when it comes to cumulative sleep time and bedtime. But for the group experiencing chronic pain, higher indications of sleepiness during the day, late morning wake times, more occurrences of night walking and a quite longer onset of sleep latency were seen. Because acupuncture has a potent analgesic quality, it therefore, can aid persons experiencing pain to enhance their quality of sleep.

The effects of aging are significantly reduced with acupuncture

Inflammation, edema, erectile dysfunction, sleeplessness, constipation, and erratic and raised heartbeats are some of the typical signs of aging and of a weakened parasympathetic nervous system. These effects can in the process, result in the rise of many common illnesses related to the aging process including cancer, arteriosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes (Type-II). The bringing back and preservation of the parasympathetic function enhance the workings of the internal organs and retard the process of aging. Acupuncture is a therapy known to provide positive benefits to the parasympathetic nervous system.

Acupuncture can boost the sleep quality of the person by improving circulation

Researchers observed the association between insomnia and circulation. They saw that a weak blood flow to the brain results in deficient sugar levels and sudden sleep awakening. They also examined the impacts of circulation to the brain on the poor functioning of certain organs. When the pressure of blood in the head was very low (<30 mmHg on bilaterally) more than half of the subjects had differing levels of irritability, poor memory, problems in concentration, and disturbances in their sleep, often insomnia but also too much sleepiness, at times. A person can still have low blood pressure in the head even when he is hypertensive or have normal blood pressure. Some studies have demonstrated that stimulation of the GB20 and ST36 acupuncture points with electro-acupuncture can help treat insomnia in Bellingham because it can improve the flow of blood to the brain.

Acupuncture has the capacity to help the body manufacture large amounts of melatonin

The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience published an article that studied the association of acupuncture treatments to that of melatonin. The researched noted a substantial boost in the secretion of endogenous melatonin in all of the 18 subjects experiencing severe insomnia who were treated with acupuncture two times each week for 5 weeks. Observations of muscular and electrical states during the entire sleeping time showed that during post-acupuncture treatments, it took a lesser amount of time than before for the subjects to fall asleep. The subjects also enjoyed fewer instances of waking up during sleep and had lesser incidence of waking while asleep. They also began to enjoy more deep sleep time. Lessened as well were their fatigue, depression and anxiety. Interesting to note was that morning alertness was decreased, as well.

To conclude, when it comes to making the most out of metabolizing and manufacturing chemicals that balance our nervous systems and affect the quality of our sleep, acupuncture can help improve the length and pattern of our sleep.

Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.

Causes of Insomnia

There can be many causes of insomnia. These causes might also be the factors for other sleep related problems. A lot of insomnia cases are due to extreme stress. This stress can be mental, physical or both and if not handled properly, can lead to higher anxiety and unnecessary pain. You may be at risk for the following types of anxiety insomnia factors:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Clinical depression
  • High levels of anxiety
  • High work pressure

Smokers, alcoholics and people who are on drugs or medications can also be considered at greater risk of insomnia.

About 40% of the population in the United States has experienced insomnia at certain times in their lives. Over 10% of the US population is experiencing chronic insomnia. Nowadays, because of very bad economic situations and highly stressful jobs, more and more people are becoming more susceptible to developing insomnia.  High levels of depression, anxiety and mental stress which are all factors for insomnia are now experienced by a substantial number of the population.

Nowadays, there is a new condition termed as shift work disorder and this is caused by irregular working hours or late night shifts. People can acquire stress from marital and certain personal pressures like financial problems. Those experiencing high levels of stress may need to consider seeing a psychologist to help them reduce their stress and help them get some quality sleep.

The causes of long-term insomnia (chronic insomnia) are quite distinct from short-term or transient insomnia. Chronic insomnia symptoms can include:

  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Breathing difficulty during sleep
  • Persistent medical illness

Chronic insomnia can also arise due to psychological, physiological and biological factors such as lifestyle choices.  Drug abuse, too much caffeine consumption and poor sleeping habits easily can cause insomnia. Utilizing positive lifestyle practices like regular exercise and eating a balanced diet can make it easy to prevent insomnia. Individuals who are taking long-term medications for chronic medical problems may require doctor’s advice about their insomnia.

Harmony Wellness Center
110 N Orlando Ave
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 234-6454
http://www.harmonywellnesscenter.com