Insomnia is a sleep disorder that means you aren’t sleeping as well as you should be. Do you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? Do you wake up early and then lie there wondering why you’re awake? Do you toss and turn at night or have dream disturbed sleep so you don’t feel refreshed in the morning when you wake up?
Sleep is important and most adults need around 8 hours each night. This means we spend approximately one third of our lives asleep. Sleep is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health. Just as we need to breathe, eat and drink, we need to sleep well. Our brain can’t function properly without enough sleep, which affects our ability to concentrate and think clearly.
1 in 3 adults experience insomnia. Are you one of them? If so, you’ll know it can be a minor inconvenience or a major disruption depending on how it impacts your life. If you find yourself lying in bed wide awake and wishing you were sleeping soundly, why not try acupuncture? It’s more relaxing than counting sheep!
Insomnia is often caused by stress, anxiety or traumatic events that keep your mind active at night. Not getting enough restful sleep can lead to you feeling worn out during the day as well as attention and memory issues. This in turn can lead to worry about why you can’t sleep and so the cycle continues.
Sleep is part of the natural rhythm of your body. Your internal body clock has a 24 hour sleep/wake cycle based on the light during the day and darkness at night. When the sun rises in the morning the yang energy in your body is dominant making you feel awake, active and alert. When the sun sets in the evening your body releases the hormone melatonin that makes you feel calm, relaxed and sleepy so that your yin energy takes over. Sometimes these two opposing energies can become confused which is why many people struggle in the winter months when the nights draw in and it is dark by 5pm because your body clock is telling you it’s time for bed. Hormonal changes when pregnant or during menopause can also affect this.
Sometimes simple lifestyle changes can make a difference to how you sleep. Avoid using computers or smartphones just before you go to bed as the blue light can delay or reduce the production of melatonin. Avoid eating a large meal before you go to bed as your body can’t relax while providing energy for digestion processes. Limit the number of caffeine drinks like coffee you have later in the day as they stimulate your brain preventing you from feeling sleepy naturally.
Medication to help you sleep is only for use on a short-term basis. Acupuncture is a natural alternative with no long-term side effects. It calms a worried mind and rebalances the energy in your body so that you get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling like you’re ready to tackle the day. Insomnia does not have to be something you just put up with.
Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.