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What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder which is estimated to affact eight millions of people in the U.S. every night. They struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. Accordig to a survey by Sleep Education,

  • 30 to 35% have brief symptoms of insomnia.
  • 15 to 20% have a short-term insomnia disorder, which lasts less than three months.
  • 10% have a chronic insomnia disorder, which occurs at least three times per week for at least three months.

Iinsomnia Can Affect You both Mentally and Physically

Insomnia can have a negative impact on your health, increasing your risk of depression and high blood pressure. It also can lower your quality of life. Common symptoms of insomnia include:.

  • Fatigue
  • Anxious
  • Weak the immune system
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Poor memory
  • Mood disturbance
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Drowsy while driving, which could lead to an accident.
Common Causes

Insomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be associated with other conditions. Common causes of chronic insomnia include:

  • Stress - Concerns about work,health, finances or family can keep your mind active at night, making it difficult to sleep. Stressful life events, such as the death or illness of a loved one, divorce, or a job loss, also may lead to insomnia.
  • Mental disorders - Insomnia often occurs with other mental health disorders as well. Parkinson's disease, and hyperthyroid.

  • Many Medicines Can Cause Insomnia
  • Eating too much late in the evening - It may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable while lying down
  • Travel or work schedule - Disrupting your body's circadian rhythms can lead to insomnia. Causes include jet lag from traveling across multiple time zones, working a late or early shift, or frequently changing shifts.
  • Travel or work schedule - Disrupting your body's circadian rhythms can lead to insomnia. Causes include jet lag from traveling across multiple time zones, working a late or early shift, or frequently changing shifts.
  • Medications - Many drugs can disturb sleep patterns. THe following list is the sample from AARP:
      Alpha-Blockers: These drugs treat high blood pressure, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and Raynaud's disease by regulating the hormone norepinephrine. This relaxes muscles and improves blood as well as urine flow.
    Examples: methylprednisolone, prednisone, and triamcinolone.
      Statins: Many rely on statins to combat high cholesterol levels. However, the associated muscle pain can interfere with sleep patterns and dreams by restricting the body's ability to rest.
    Examples: atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor), rosuvastatin, and simvastatin (Zocor).
      Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are prescribed to treat inflammations, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjögren's syndrome, allergic reactions, and gout. But their mechanism of action may also influence the body's adrenal glands, which in turn problematizes relaxation and sleep.
    Examples: cortisone, methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisone (sold under many brand names, such as Deltasone and Sterapred), and triamcinolone.
      Cholinesterase Inhiitors: Cholinesterase inhibitors are often taken to treat Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia by regulating the enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. These drugs improve memory function, attention, and judgment. Unfortunately, heightened alertness may restrict the body's capacity to induce involuntary functions like sleep, and can also cause abnormal dreams.
    Examples: donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Razadyne),and rivastigmine (Exelon).
      Glucosamine & Chondroitin: These are dietary supplements used to improve joint function by treating pain and inflammations. Although both are naturally occurring within the human body, studies have linked excessive levels to gastrointestinal side effects as well as insomnia.
  • Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol - Coffee, tea, cola and other caffeinated drinks are stimulants. Drinking them in the late afternoon or evening can keep you from falling asleep at night. Nicotine in tobacco products is another stimulant that can interfere with sleep. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes awakening in the middle of the night.
The Evidence Behind Acupuncture for Insomnia

Most people who have insomnia might quickly turn to medications, but many sleep drugs frequently come with serious side effects. It's time to considered the possibility of using acupuncture for insomnia as it could be a big help.

Some reports suggest that acupuncture procedures have a nearly 90% success rate for the treatment of insomnia. Through a complex series of signals to the brain, acupuncture increases the amount of certain substances in the brain, such as serotonin, which promote relaxation and sleep.

Several clinical studies have found that auricular acupuncture, using needles placed at various point in the ear, such as Shen Men and Xin, is effective in reducing symptoms of insomnia, such as difficultly in falling asleep and remaining asleep.

Many studies have found acupuncture to be as effective as commonly used insomnia medications.


Acupuncture Has Been Proven to Be a Very Effective Treatment of Insomnia.

In one study, patients either received acupuncture once per week or took 10mg of zolpidem every night. Both groups showed similar improvements in sleep quality, suggesting that the acupuncture treatment was as effective as the pharmaceutical treatment. But whereas drug treatment can result in serious side effects, acupuncture is generally quite safe.

In another study in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers looked at the effects of acupuncture, a sleeping pill called estazolam, or placebo in insomnia patients. People who received either acupuncture or the sleeping pill had significantly better improvements in sleep compared to those in the control group.

In another study in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers looked at the effects of acupuncture, a sleeping pill called estazolam, or placebo in insomnia patients. People who received either acupuncture or the sleeping pill had significantly better improvements in sleep compared to those in the control group.

But compared to the other two groups, the acupuncture group reported higher sleep quality and vitality, along with lower sleepiness and daytime dysfunction. The group taking estazolam, on the other hand, reported higher levels of daytime dysfunction.

What's more, the improvements in the acupuncture group were maintained at follow up, while the sleeping pill effects were shorter lasting.