"At an intake with an Acupuncturist, we spend the first appointment asking questions a lot of questions. Among questions about pain, menstruation and digestion, we ask you about sleep. Usually it will be more than one question we want to know about sleep quality, feeling rested, dreams, what time you wake up in the middle of the night, what people do before they go to sleep, etc etc.
As we are all aware, sleep is incredibly foundational to our health and well-being and yet many of us have troubles with sleep. According to the American Sleep Association nearly 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, with 30% of adults experiencing short-term insomnia. About 10% of people have long-lasting insomnia.
we all have unique sleep patterns
In East Asian medicine, we break it down further than just long and short term insomnia. Each person who struggles with sleep has a unique pattern and we ask a lot of questions to understand what exactly the sleep issue is and the best way to treat it. We want to get to the root of the issue so that there are long lasting results.
Acupuncture and its ability to support folks struggling with insomnia or other sleep issues has been well researched. One study found that acupuncture was effective in improving both sleep quality and psychological health. Another study found that acupuncture improved sleep duration better than medications and the use of medication and acupuncture together was more effective than medication alone. In a 32-week clinical trial in China, a study found that the use of electroacupuncture treatment for insomnia for patients with depression significantly improved quality of sleep and the quality was sustained at the 24-week follow up.
Working with clients on their sleep hygiene and habits as well as using acupuncture and Chinese herbs has become almost commonplace in my practice. Although many people are struggling with sleep these days, I treat each person as an individual and each of their sleep issues as its own unique puzzle to solve. Anecdotally, I"ve seen a lot of improvement with folks who are using both acupuncture and therapy as support for their sleep issues."
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