Sleep is not overrated! Sleep is how our body restores itself. Lack of sleep leads to inflammation and there is good data tying lack of sleep to many undesirable health consequences.
There can be many reasons why someone is not sleeping well. The typical patterns I see when someone complains of a not sleeping well or ‘insomnia’ is either:
- A person cannot fall asleep. Either their head is spinning with thoughts (“monkey mind” 心猿) or they just feel wired and jittery.
- A person wakes up after a few hours of sleep. Often around 2 am for about 1-2 hours.
- A person wakes up early in the morning feeling they haven’t had enough sleep, but cannot fall back asleep. (even though it is 4:00am).
Some sleep issues can stem from endocrine system and blood sugar dysregulation. Some can be caused by anemia. Some may stem from circumstantial life situations one is currently experiencing and causing a ‘Heart’ disturbance. Certainly the sleep disorder is not from an Ambien deficiency.
Acupuncture is an amazing modality to treat any sleep disturbances and my first choice. Many times people come to me for complaints other than sleep, but then report that whenever they receive acupuncture then they sleep great.
Two studies were just released to determine the efficacy of acupuncture for sleep disturbances. One study compared Ambien to acupuncture and found that they both significantly improved sleep. The ‘side effects’ of acupuncture are considerably more beneficial than the side effects of Ambien.
The other study looked at the efficacy of points on the lateral occiput called Anmian (“Peaceful Sleep”) and if they improve sleep quality vs just using body meridian points. Researchers found that the addition of these occiput acupuncture points significantly improved sleep quality over meridian points alone.
Do consider acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for the treatment of sleep disorders before resorting to medications. Your body will appreciate you for it.
Yours In Health,
Stow & Cambridge, MA