Getting a good night’s sleep is important, but it’s increasingly rare. More than one third of adults in the United States struggle to sleep at night, according to the Center for Disease Control. If you are one of them, you will know that there are all sorts of things that are touted to help you sleep. You’ve probably tried them all.
One thing that you might not have tried has been present to help you sleep over the last 4000 years in Traditional Chinese medicine is acupuncture. The western world is often skeptical of it, but science has found it to be incredibly helpful for a lot of ailments – including insomnia.
Here are three ways that acupuncture has been found to improve your sleep and overall health.
Alleviate Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons that people struggle to sleep, whether it’s from joint pain, headaches or muscle pain. Acupuncture has been found to reduce chronic pain by 50 percent within four weeks of beginning treatments, according to the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Acupuncture has also been found to help with chronic nausea, PTSD and substance abuse issues. If these are problems you deal with, make sure that you talk to your doctor before beginning acupuncture. You may also want to have a sleep study done.
Increases Sleep Duration & Quality
More than 90 patients in a 2013 study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine found that they slept better and longer after acupuncturists focused on the meridian and anmian acupoints, despite previously struggling with insomnia and related issues. Acupuncture using these pressure points helps your body to produce chemicals like serotonin, melatonin and noradrenalin, all of which also improve your mental health.
Acupuncture has been found to help to release melatonin, which improves your sleep duration, throughout the night when you sleep.
Reduces Physical Effects of Stress
Since 80 percent of doctors visits are supposedly rooted in stress, decreasing stress is incredibly important for your health overall.
Acupuncture helps to reduce stress levels and anxiety, which makes it easier to sleep. By sleeping better, you are much more able to deal with the stressors that come at you during the day, instead of instantly reacting negatively to it. When you don’t sleep well, you are more likely to have a stronger negative response to the most minor of stressors, and you’ll struggle to be happy about the good things that happen throughout your day.
Make sure you know what you are hoping to fix before you visit an acupuncturist so that you can get the best results. You should also talk to your general physician to ensure that you can tell your acupuncturist about any medical conditions you have. This is important to making sure that you are not exacerbating other problems you have.
If you are otherwise healthy, the only side effects you might see from
acupuncture are some soreness or light bruising at the puncture sites.