Insomnia may manifest as a cycle in which sleep difficulties lead to fatigue throughout the day; this same fatigue may underlie the inability to achieve sleep at night or the ability to maintain a restful sleep, contributing to further fatigue.
Insomnia symptoms can include:
- Difficulty falling asleep – sleep onset insomnia,
- Interrupted sleep – waking during the night,
- Waking up too early,
- Vivid nightmares,
- Extreme insomnia – wakefulness for a long period of time at night,
- Irritability and disturbed mood,
- Poor concentration,
- Tiredness, fatigue and exhaustion.
Acupuncture takes a holistic view of the patient.
In terms of sleep disturbances, acupuncture aims to restore the body’s natural sleep rhythms so that an individual feels energetic and alert throughout the day but restful and calm at night.
- Activates the pineal gland to produce the hormone melatonin which initiates sleep onset at night,
- Activates the parasympathetic nervous system which signals to the body that it is time to rest and digest,
- Uses a specific formula of points to clear the mind and to reduce stress related insomnia,
- Balances the emotions to reduce anxiety, fear or grief which may inhibit sleep,
- Can be combined with herbs to nourish the internal organs, remedying underlying tiredness, fatigue and exhaustion and which results in the experience of deeper sleep.
- For sleep apnea, acupuncture strengthens the tongue muscles to prevent it from blocking the airway during sleep.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that acupuncture is an effective treatment for insomnia.