By Matthew Enright AP, DOM (AP1711 Florida) – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida – According to the National Sleep Foundation,15% of America’s adults have chronic insomnia. This condition affects them at work, school and even spills into their social life.
The silver lining here is that while conventional medicine doesn’t help much with chronic insomnia, acupuncture has been tried, tested and verified to be highly effective in the treatment for insomnia. This centuries-old approach will increase quantity and quality of sleep. More of acupuncture for insomnia in a moment, as we now take an in-depth look at some of the types, causes and conventional treatments for insomnia.
- Acute insomnia– here, you have short bursts of wakefulness after which you sleep. It comes about as a result of trauma, loss of employment or tragedy. This mild form of insomnia goes away after some time and may never require medical intervention.
- Comorbid insomnia – it is caused by a different pre-existing condition, such as depression or anxiety, which on their own can cause sleeping problems. Medical conditions such as arthritis or back pain also make it hard for patients to fall asleep.
- Sleep Maintenance insomnia -with this form of insomnia you wake up at some point in the night but find it very hard to get your sleep back.
- Sleep Onset insomnia – some people find it almost impossible to fall asleep when they get to bed, even if they are extremely worn out from the activities of the day.
- Chronic insomnia – in order to be considered to have a diagnosis with this disorder, you have to have experienced sleeping problems at least 3 times a week for 3 straight months or more.
Causes of insomnia
Anxiety, stress, and depression are some of the most common causes of chronic insomnia. Having difficulty sleeping can also make anxiety, stress, and depression symptoms worse. The causes of insomnia can also be both physical and physiological. Most sleeping problems are however caused by an existing medical condition.
Here are some causes of insomnia;
- Circadian system disruptions- anything that disrupts sleep such as jet lag, moods, temperatures, noise etc.
- Electronics- back light from electronic devices affect your melatonin levels, delaying your sleep.
- Psychological issues such as bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression usually come alongside insomnia.
- As a side effect of medication such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, corticosteroids, statins, alpha blockers and cholinesterase inhibitors.
You can adopt lifestyle patterns that help you deal with your sleeping problems. Such habits include going to sleep earlier in the evening, going to sleep the same time every night, sleeping in a serene, noiseless environment and avoiding nicotine, caffeine or alcohol right before going to bed.
If insomnia affects your routine during the day, your doctor will suggest that you take sleeping pills, such as Ambien or Trazodone for some time. It’s never advised to buy sleep medication over the counter because it will become quite ineffective after a short period of time.
Acupuncture and insomnia
This holistic approach to the treatment of insomnia has been in use for centuries in Asia. Over the last few decades, it has permeated and shaken up the Western medicine world. According to studies put out by Huijin Cao, M.D et al (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2009 Nov; 15 (11): 1171-1186. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0041), acupuncture does indeed work for insomnia patients. 3,611 patients were involved in this specific study, where 46 trials were carried out on subjects of the ages 18-35. There was a 95% improvement in the duration and quality of sleep for this large group of participants.
Acupuncture specialists have a pretty good idea of how the practice works for insomnia patients; it balances and regulates hormones and neurotransmitters in the body, which ultimately leads to the reduction of body stress levels. As acupuncturists are fond of saying, acupuncture ‘puts the mind to bed’. Always consult with a skilled, licensed acupuncturist such as our team here in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Those suffering from any type of insomnia will be glad to hear that our experienced team of physicians have had unprecedented success in the treatment of this disorder by using gentle acupuncture combined with Chinese herbal medicine. If you are looking for many nights of restful sleep from now on, call our clinic and get a free consultation today.