Acupuncture For A Better Night’s Sleep
by Vivian Takafuji, Ph.D, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
As Lifestyle Medicine defines, sleep is an important “pillar” of good health. We can get by with one night of poor rest but if the sleep disruption continues, insomnia can quickly affect all facets of our life. Our brain and organs need to rest, detox and rejuvenate during the night; poor quality of sleep can affect us physically and mentally over time.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views sleep problems to be related to the “Mind” and an imbalance of the Heart energy. Certainly, if the issue is a problem falling asleep, trying to calm an overactive mind from the stressors of the day or worries of the future can be excruciating.
If the problem is staying asleep, the TCM diagnosis is one of “Yin deficiency” since nighttime is when the Yin energies should be at their peak to “root the Spirit”.
A TCM treatment plan would include acupuncture sessions to balance the energies at play along with a possible prescription for Chinese herbs. I have many patients tell me that they look forward to sleeping well the night after an acupuncture treatment. I have many others report that they can fall asleep easier or stay asleep for longer periods of time with ongoing treatment.
Even better, I consider it a great sign if a patient falls asleep during an acupuncture treatment since these short “cat naps” can be just what a stressed nervous system needs to reset.If sleep is identified as a focus for treatment, we can expect to see increased energy/stamina, better mood + relationships and reduction in pain (if it’s in your picture), by focusing on this important area of lifestyle.