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Insomnia and Acupuncture

Published in Acupuncture, For the Health of It Author: Douglas Blanchard, LAc, CentraCare – Lifestyle Health

How Needles Can Help You Sleep

Another restless night — tossing and turning, thinking about the next day, staring at the clock wishing you could just close your eyes and sleep. Insomnia is just one of many sleep disorders out there, but it is the most common specific sleep disorder. The American Sleep Association (ASA) states that somewhere between 50-70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. Thirty percent of adults have insomnia and 10 percent of adults have chronic insomnia.

What are the signs of insomnia?

According to, “Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up. Insomnia can zap not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance and quality of life.” Many adults may suffer from insomnia in their lifetimes, but this may only last for a few days to a few weeks, “acute insomnia.” Then there are those who suffer from insomnia longer or “chronic insomnia.”

Most people can self-treat with lifestyle changes such as:

  • Reduce their workload
  • Lower stressors in their lives
  • Eat a healthier diet
  • Change their bedtime routine

Now, sometimes this works out for the best, but sometimes not so much. And in the “not so much” stage — bring on the acupuncture! Regular acupuncture treatments have been shown to help with insomnia by relaxing the mind and body.

One of the big reason’s that we lose sleep is stress. Stress has a way of affecting the mind and body to the extent that it can and will keep us up at night. So, if we lower or remove the stress, we may just have a fighting chance to get a good night’s sleep.

How does acupuncture help?

Acupuncture starts by opening the pathways in the body to ensure that the energy is moving freely and in the right way. Then by placing needles at certain points on the body, we can relax the body and the mind. And, if need be, we try to reduce any pain that there is as well. When these steps are met the patient can truly relax and let go of the world as it were and find peace if only for that moment.

Now I know what you are saying, “How can you possibly relax with needles in you?” I can tell you from experience that you really can. So, if this sounds like something that you would like to try and experience for yourself, then give acupuncture a try. Because everyone deserves a good night’s rest.