Acupuncture Improves Sleep

Western Medicine has done many studies on the impact of sleep to our body's ability to function. A study done by scientists at the University of Chicago found those who suffer from long-term sleep deprivation develop serious health problems ranging from difficulty metabolizing food, diabetes, obesity, hormone imbalances to lowered immunity.

I didn't quite appreciate how important sleep was to my health until becoming a parent. While attending a parenting class, the instructor shared a sleep study that had been done to investigate the impact of interrupted sleep for new parents. The selected participants were college students and they were woken up every time they entered a deep sleep state. At the end of the 30-day study, all of the participants reported effects identified under clinical depression.

The benefit of quality sleep is probably the most ignored and underrated aspect of maintaining our lifestyle. Adequate sleep is needed to build and maintain Kidney yin and yang. This restoration and balance occurs when the mind is at complete rest. Kidney yang energy is restored in the hours before midnight which is when we experience the deepest type of sleep. During this time growth hormone is secreted and memory is integrated as new information from the hippocampus to the cortex.

Sleep is critical to repairing our body's immune system and nourishes our neurological functions. The early morning hours of sleep is the time when the mind is recharged, and the second stage of memory is further integrated and solidified in the cortex during rapid eye movement. This is when the yin energy has its chance to restore and build.

Acupuncture can be a very effective and safe way to treat sleep issues once you differentiate the cause. Chinese Medicine views sleep as the transition from yang energy (day) to yin energy (night). Insomnia is due to a breakdown of the connection of the the two.

The term insomnia covers both the ability of fall and remain asleep. The amount and quality of sleep depends on the state of the mind also known as the Shen in Chinese Medicine. There are several causes for poor sleep. Below are some I have have observed to be triggers:

Very simply stated, Chinese Medicine interprets the pathology of insomnia as an emptiness or fullness within the body. Deficient conditions involve blood or yin. Full conditions usually involve a pathogenic factor such as heat or blood stagnation.

Below is a chart listing the meridians and their represented times. A future newsletter will talk about this in more detail.

Meridian Clock

Sleep: Dreams: Snoring:

If you are suffering from poor sleep and would like to learn how acupuncture can improve your quality of life, call today or book online to make an appointment.

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