How Acupuncture Can Help With Sleep Issues

How Acupuncture Can Help With Sleep Issues

Acupuncture can help you sleep as well as those kittens..

You try very hard not to look at the clock to check what time it is. “Don’t look at the clock, no don’t! Just breathe, focus on your breath, meditate and you will get to sleep.”  

Here we are again, it’s the middle of the night and you can’t sleep. You have tossed and turned, your brain churning endless thoughts. You may be anxious or worried about what you need to do the following day; you have tried to read a book, count sheep, all your regular tricks and nothing is working. It has been getting worse lately. You even dread going to bed because no matter how tired you are, you know you will be awake after a couple of hours of sleep.

You are not alone, according to a survey done by the Sleep Council in 2013: 27% of Britons experience poor quality sleep on a regular basis and a third of us get only 5-6 hours sleep per night. This is significantly less than the recommended 7-9 hours per night, which helps us function at an optimal level.  It is well known that sleep provides positive health benefits from helping us lose weight and improving our memories, to decreasing risk for heart disease and diabetes and even making us happier.

There are a number of reasons why some of us may not get enough sleep: it could be due to underlying conditions that may require medical attention. Or it could be worry or stress that keeps us awake, whilst others may be burning the candle at both ends.  

Improving ‘sleep hygiene’ will help and easy steps include banishing phones and laptops before bedtime (the blue light from these devices suppresses melatonin, a hormone that helps us get into a nice restful state and sleep). Also try options like giving yourself time to unwind before bed, sleeping in a dark room, avoiding caffeine consumption at least 6 hours before going to bed.

Another thing that can help you sleep better is acupuncture. Acupuncture is known to have a calming and relaxing effect; many people I see fall asleep during their treatments and a lot of the people say they slept well after an acupuncture treatment, regardless of the reason why they came in.

One of the reasons acupuncture helps is because it can increase your production of melatonin and regulate your sleep-wake cycle (also known as the circadian rhythm). Combine the increase in melatonin with acupuncture’s ability to reduce anxiety, and you have a recipe for improved sleep without negative side effects! Furthermore, acupuncture is individualised and the aim is to get to the root of why you are not sleeping. Is it stress or anxiety that is keeping you awake? Can’t shut off your brain? Do you wake at the same time every night unable to fall back to sleep? Is it hormonal? Pregnancy and menopause are times when insomnia can be an issue for women…

Don’t wait another night before getting help!  Make efforts to incorporate the ‘sleep hygiene’ advice above and give acupuncture a go. Get in touch with Anu if you have any questions: tel 07515431070 or email anu@happybeing.co.uk.

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Therapists and teachers in Edinburgh offering Acupuncture, Sports Massage, Physiotherapy, Pilates, Chi Kung classes and Meditation.