Acupuncture for Insomnia
Are you struggling with an inability to sleep, or insomnia? You may also suffering from exhaustion, headache, mental sluggishness and irritability.
Acupuncture offers a safe and highly effective way to resolve many factors that contribute to insomnia. Unlike many sleep medications, acupuncture treatments have no unwanted side effects.
Sleep is absolutely vital to your health. It improves your concentration, emotions and social interactions. It also supports a healthy immune system and reduces the chance of diabetes and heart disease.
Acupuncture can be safely combined with conventional medical treatments for insomnia, such as benzodiazepines, helping to reduce their side effects and enhance their beneficial effects (Cao et al 2009).
Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically be of benefit in people with insomnia by:
- Increasing nocturnal endogenous melatonin secretion (Spence et al 2004).
- Stimulating opioid (especially b-endorphin) production and µ-opioid receptor activity (Cheng et al 2009).
- Increasing nitric oxide synthase activity and nitric oxide content, helping to promote normal function of brain tissues, which could help to regulate sleep (Gao et al 2007).
- Increasing cerebral blood flow (Yan 2010)
- Reducing sympathetic nervous system activity, hence increasing relaxation (Lee 2009a)
- Regulating levels of neurotransmitters (or their modulators) such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA and neuropeptide Y; hence altering the brains’s mood chemistry to help to increase relaxation and reduce tension (Lee 2009b; Samuels 2008; Zhou 2008).