Insomnia, what is it?
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder, usually characterised by the difficulty of falling asleep or staying asleep. This condition has been and can affect all populations across all age groups. Now days, insomnia is affecting ~40% of adults. Some symptoms include the difficulty falling asleep (more than 30 minutes), and this can happen more than 4 nights a week. Patient with sleeping difficulties will feel tense, tired, have delayed reaction, can be easily distracted, and develop migraine or headaches. When these symptoms gets worse, it can further impact on the quality of life, delay activities, which result in fall back schedules, and further lead to anxiety and frustration.
Many people are searching for a way to improve sleeping quality and the ability to fall asleep. Insomnia can be treated with Western medicine, a change of lifestyle, balancing nutrition, but the alternative way of using natural medicine has been in favour as a treatment. Ponsonby Wellness Centre uses acupuncture in combination with herbal medicine for the best result for insomnia.
What causes insomnia?
The following are some common causes of insomnia according to NHS inform.
- Stress and anxiety.
- poor sleeping environment.
- shift work, jet lag.
- alcohol, nicotine caffeine before bed.
- using technology (phone) in bed for too long.
- mental health conditions- depression and schizophrenia
- on medications- antidepressants, steroid etc
- other sleep disorders, long-term chronic pain, heart conditions etc.
How does it work with Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment?
Insomnia in the sense of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is caused by insufficient nutrients in the body, poor blood circulation and incompatibilities between internal organ functions (heart, kidney, spleen, liver). According to Dr. Virginia, people affected with this condition, are either “yin” deficient, or “yang” deficient. Thus, acupuncture aims to insert needles into acupoints that improves circulation and “qi”.
The traditional treatment of using thin needles have been commonly used as an alternative therapy for the treatment of insomnia in China, and many clinical studies have shown beneficial effect on insomnia compared to Western medication. Acupuncture target acupoints on the body to improve the balance of “qi” flow, which further regulate physiological processes, including sleep-wake cycles by promoting relaxation by calming the nervous system and reducing stress for a better sleep. The effect of this treatment varies amongst individuals, where some people will find a significant improvement in sleep just after a single treatment, and some other individuals may require multiple treatments. Thus, it is important to consult with the practitioner first.
The prescription of herbal varies between different individuals as well. A diagnosis from tongue and pulse reading is required during a consultation. Herbal medicine has showed an improvement in 3 of the 4 clinical trials. Additionally, positive effect of acupuncture in combination with herbal medicine, has showed a higher significant increase in sleep rates by 60%.
Other things you can try yourself to improve sleep:
- setting a regular wakeup and sleeping time.
- do some relaxation before bed, you can listen to calm music or take a hot bath.
- try avoid the use of phones, tablets or any other technologies that will distract your sleep.
- avoid use of nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, especially before sleep.
- make your bed comfortable and try to sleep in a quiet environment.
- Exercise during the day to help with blood flow.
- try eating food that will improve relaxation and sleep, such as kiwi, cherries, fish, milk.
For more information, you can:
Read more about insomnia/anxiety
You can also book an appointment with our expertise acupuncturist here
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phone number: 021 2159963
email address: email@example.com
43A Brown St,