Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese medicine that uses tiny needles to stimulate certain areas of the body. The treatment has become more popular for its ability to help people with a range of conditions, like allergies, asthma, depression, and sleeping problems. In this post, we will focus on acupuncture for sleep, how it works, and ways to find a practitioner.
How Do I Know If I Have Trouble Sleeping?
When is sleep deprivation a problem? You might have insomnia if you can’t get enough sleep to function during the day. Although sleep is crucial for our bodies, 1 in 3 people suffer from insomnia. This condition can negatively impact our daily lives in the following ways:
- You have a hard time falling asleep.
- You often wake up throughout the night and can’t get back to sleep.
- You often wake up earlier than you intend.
Why Causes Insomnia?
Here are a few causes of insomnia:
- Sleep apnea.
- Depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders.
- Chronic or acute pain caused by an illness or injury.
- Inconsistent sleep schedule due to night job or other factors.
In some cases, there is no known cause of insomnia at all — you may not be experiencing any of these causes, yet still have trouble sleeping. This is known as primary insomnia.
The condition can last from several days to several months.
Left untreated, insomnia could actually lead to depression and anxiety. More generally, however, you might find yourself exhausted throughout the day, struggling to stay awake, or falling asleep at inappropriate times. This condition can be especially dangerous if you drive to and from work, or drive as a part of your job.
While stimulants like coffee can help temporarily, your best option is to find a more permanent solution. That is, you should actually be trying to get a good night’s sleep instead of depending on caffeine to keep you awake.
How Does Acupuncture for Sleep Help?
Traditional Chinese Medicine points to an imbalance in yin and yang qi (known as your life energy or life force). Acupuncture helps to regulate the flow of energy in your body by inserting needles into specific points, known as meridians.
In Western medicine, acupuncture is known to help in neuromodulation. That means the needle insertions can decrease your brain’s perception of pain and boost the production of dopamine.
In general, the treatment can help relieve your stress, allowing you to get comfortable enough to drift off to sleep.
It can also help treat the underlying conditions that may be causing your insomnia, such as sleep apnea, mood disorders, or chronic pain.
Finding an Acupuncturist
While a Google search or recommendation is a great way to find acupuncturists near you, be sure to vet your practitioner before you book an appointment.
You can check whether or not they have an active license online — find the Florida database here.
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) also allows you to search for or find a practitioner.
Wake Up Feeling Awake and Refreshed
If you haven’t had a good night’s sleep lately, we can help. Dr. Rafael Padro is licensed with the state of Florida and the NCCAOM, and has extensive experience in acupuncture for sleep issues. To schedule an appointment with him, call 305-456-1014.