Sleep Disorders & Acupuncture

A Good Night’s Sleep:

There are a myriad of reasons a person may be having sleep issues or insomnia. Sometimes the stressors of the day make us restless and keep us up at night. Other times the source of the problem is a more serious issue like sleep apnea.

The average adult needs between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Getting less than that puts us at risk for problems like mood issues and hormonal imbalances and even more dangerous health issues like heart disease and diabetes.

One of the major contributors to sleep apnea is an obstruction in the airway. At night, muscles of the throat tend to relax and collapse around the airway. This results in hundreds of tiny interruptions in sleep that many people are not aware is happening to them. Some of the biggest contributors to the problem is alcohol consumption, being a male over 65, and obesity.

Diagnosing sleep apnea can be tricky without a diagnosis from a sleep specialist. Some of the signs of sleep apnea are snoring, gasping at night and extreme fatigue during the day. The western medicine approach to sleep apnea is typically the prescription of a CPAP machine that forces oxygen into the airway. Suggestions around diet and weight loss are generally a strong and appropriate way to address the issue.

Acupuncture can be a very useful addition to traditional approaches to sleep apnea. The insertion of needles around the neck area are a safe and helpful way to energize the area and bring tonicity to these muscles. In addition to these acupuncture points your practitioner will use lung points and kidney points to support the body’s endocrine system, thus assisting to regulate the hormones that contribute to healthy sleep. Acu points around the ear are typically used if weight loss is a primary concern.

If you feel that your energy is really lagging during the day, it may be in your best interest to rule out sleep issues. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can be an extremely useful tool to help you get better rest. Ask to speak to Mary Pat Finley if you would like more information on acupuncture and sleep apnea.