Updated: Nov 4
Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking through the night?
According to a report by the Sleep Council in 2017, almost one third of the UK population have difficulty sleeping most nights. There are a handful of main reasons for these troubling statistics and top of the list by a clear margin is stress and worry. This is followed by 'disturbance by a partner' (snoring or fidgeting); then comes 'noise' and last place goes to an 'uncomfortable bed'.
If you are regularly only getting between 5 and 7 hours of sleep per night, you can join the top 61% of people in the same boat (or bed). Not very comforting though, I know. When it comes to differences between men and women, 51% of women compared to 39% of men are suffering with lack of sleep. This can result in detrimental effects to our performance at work, general mood, levels of energy, short term memory and even our relationships with others. If this wasn't enough, it can also be a contributing factor to anxiety and depression, irritability, poor immune function and obesity.
So What can be done?
Whilst taking over the counter drugs may help in the short term, it is not advisable to continue taking any medications without medical advice. If your insomnia has been affecting you for some time, first check with your GP and they may perform tests to rule out hormone imbalances or other causes. However, often there is 'no known cause' and this can leave you feeling frustrated and helpless when it comes to finding a remedy that works.
The key to beating your insomnia is to figure out the main cause and try to tackle that. Are you spending a lot of time worrying? Do you have high levels of stress and find it difficult to switch off at night? Is there an underlying emotional problem which is causing your sleep disturbances? Insomnia is often a symptom of something else which is going on.
How Acupuncture may help
Studies have found that acupuncture can improve sleep for insomnia sufferers, particularly when it is combined with massage. In fact, one report shows a whopping 72% improvement for patients who had acupuncture on its own and an even more impressive 92% improvement was recorded for patients who had a combination of acupuncture and massage together.
Traditional Chinese Acupuncture treatments are be based on thousands of years of specific diagnostic methods and pattern differentiations which together aim to determine the root cause of the presenting symptoms and therefore treat from an holistic approach. No two people are alike and this is where Traditional Chinese Acupuncture may really be able to make a difference.
This means that your treatment will be unique to you, to your circumstances and to your own collection of symptoms.
See the links below for further information on how acupuncture may help relieve insomnia.
Some useful tips you might like to try...
Limit caffeine consumption to mornings only
Try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning whenever possible
Limit (or better still, eliminate) screen time in the bedroom and also try to plug in phones outside the bedroom or at least away from the bed
Read a book or magazine for 15-30 minutes before bed time
Try to avoid heavy meals for at least two hours before you go to be
Incorporate a regular exercise routine into your weekly schedule