The incidence of insomnia is quite high in the western world, with some sources citing up to 40 % of the population being affected at some point in their lives. Some people can take up to 3-4 hours to fall asleep and others wake up and then can’t fall back asleep. Sedatives and oral hypnotics are addictive and the newer treatment of Melatonin has not shown favorable outcome with long term use. Animal studies using melatonin have found that it causes inhibition of the reproductive system and delay in puberty.
As early as 1977, doctors in the US researching acupuncture for insomnia found that acupuncture improved the sleeping of nearly all the patients. Another German study in 1982 found that acupuncture for insomnia benefited 100% of the patients who undertook the study.
Acupuncture for insomnia is completely safe and without side effects.
In fact acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been used for centuries in the treatment of sleeping disorders. In traditional Chinese medicinal diagnosis there is more than one cause of insomnia and needs to be addressed in order to have longer term benefit from the treatment. One common imbalance according to traditional diagnosis is that the heart is responsible for a good nights sleep because the heart controls the mind and its thoughts. This is why these people experience palpitations just as they go to bed and the heart beats prevent them from relaxing enough to fall asleep. Some of the acupuncture points have names such as “peaceful sleep” and “mind calmer” to emphasize their usefulness in the treatment of insomnia.
Acupuncture treatment overall has a regulating and restorative effect and it’s not usual that patients report they are sleeping better and more deeply even though the acupuncturist was actually treating another complaint like back pain.
Many patients have benefited from acupuncture for insomnia and have been able to cease taking sedatives.