Sleep, or lack of sufficient good quality sleep, affects us in countless ways:
- energy and mood (perhaps most obviously!),
- blood sugar
- appetite regulating hormones (and thus weight)
- nervous system and other stress hormones
- heart health, our ability to exercise effectively and recover from training, our likelihood of accidents, and–overall – our lifespan! (check out this podcast https://drchatterjee.com/episode-26-sleep-matthew-walker-part-1/ or other stuff by Matthew Walker if you need more convincing!)
Here what our acupuncturist Lilja Katanka suggest:
Sleep has been one of my personal challenges over the years. I totally empathise with the struggles of insomnia and the frustration of what can turn into a vicious cycle at bedtime. There are plenty of hints and tips about sleeping, but many of these things go out the window in the holiday period.
What can affect your sleep:
Warm nights, long journeys or jet lag*, drinking more alcohol, eating too late, or changing schedules for work or childcare etc all affect our sleep – and sometimes we all need a bit of extra help to get back into a healthy, good quality sleep routine.
What to do
Acupuncture has been proven to help insomnia and improve sleep quality. I love seeing the improvement in my patients’ sleep when they come for treatment (even if that is not their main priority!). From a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) perspective, there are many different imbalances which can contribute to disturbed sleep. For effective treatment, it is important that each individual receives a course of treatment based on their individual diagnosis.
A preliminary report in 20042 showed that acupuncture increased night-time melatonin production and total sleep time in patients with anxiety. The patients who received acupuncture also fell asleep faster, were less aroused at night, and were less stressed.
Other studies have shown that acupuncture also helps improve sleep for people with insomnia without significant other health problems. For example this study in 19993. A key point in this and other studies is that “true and individualized acupuncture” shows efficacy in primary sleep disorders- meaning that each patient may be treated differently -depending on their TCM diagnosis by a qualified holistic Acupuncturist.
Here some more interesting reading
- Acupuncture increases nocturnal melatonin secretion and reduces insomnia and anxiety: a preliminary report https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14990755
- 23 Acupuncture and insomnia https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10077713
- 1 Acupuncture for Treatment of Insomnia: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials 2009 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156618/
- * Tips for Jetlag http://www.natural-treatments-for.com/natural-treatments-for-jet-lag.html
If you need help with your sleep enjoy this holiday time even more, get in touch and see how Holistic Acupuncture can do for you.
To book your appointment with Lilja call 0191 296 0567or book online