WHAT IS INSOMNIA?
Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling or staying asleep.
There are many potential causes of insomnia, including but not limited to poor sleep hygiene (coffee, exercise or excitement near bedtime), psychiatric disorders (stress, depression), physical disorders (chronic pain, arthritis), sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, use of drugs (alcohol, stimulants, steroids, thyroid hormones) and withdrawal of drugs (alcohol, certain antidepressants, opioids, barbiturates, sedatives, and illicit drugs).
Left untreated Insomnia will affect your health and wellbeing and lead to other health issues. Sleep is key to our health!
HOW CAN ACUPUNCTURE HELP YOUR SLEEP COMPLAINTS?
The treatment will be tailored to your specific needs and the underlying causes of your particular type of insomnia. We will also look together at your sleep routines and try to eliminate any factors that might be responsible for your sleep troubles.
If you are more scientifically inclined, the British Acupuncture Council has a good summary of the ways in which acupuncture might help insomnia. Please see https://www.acupuncture.org.uk/a-to-z-of-conditions/a-to-z-of-conditions/1283-insomnia.html or the direct quote below:
increasing nocturnal endogenous melatonin secretion (Spence et al 2004).
stimulating opioid (especially b-endorphin) production and µ-opioid receptor activity (Cheng et al 2009).
increasing nitric oxide synthase activity and nitric oxide content, helping to promote the normal function of brain tissues, which could help to regulate sleep (Gao et al 2007).
increasing cerebral blood flow (Yan 2010)
reducing sympathetic nervous system activity, hence increasing relaxation (Lee 2009a)
regulating levels of neurotransmitters (or their modulators) such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA and neuropeptide Y; hence altering the brains' mood chemistry to help to increase relaxation and reduce tension (Lee 2009b; Samuels 2008; Zhou 2008).