Acupuncture for InsomniaInsomnia is a very common condition that affects millions of people every day, or more likely, every night. In fact, sleep problem is one of the top reasons people seek for acupuncture treatment. Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up unusually early and not being able to go back to sleep. Insomnia also affects daytime activities and functions. Being the most common sleep complaint in the U.S., long-term and chronic insomnia affects about 10 – 34% of the population. This means it’s a virtual epidemic in the U.S. In the year 2005, pharmaceuticals decided to put an end to sleeplessness by investing $300 million in the research and development. That resulted in $2 billion in sales, a record of 43 million prescriptions for sleeping pills and people swallowing tons of pills for a decade, and yet the problem does not appear to have gotten any better.
Symptoms of InsomniaSymptoms of insomnia include fatigue during the day and sleepiness, feeble concentration, anxiety, forgetfulness, irritability, low energy levels, depression, difficulty in falling and staying asleep, increased number of mistakes and excessively worrying about sleeping. Many experience that these symptoms interfere with their performance at work and personal relationships. Chronic insomnia sufferers also have an increased risk of experiencing automobile accidents as compared to individuals who simply are fatigued.
Short-term InsomniaShort-term insomnia, lasting less than 3 months, is associated with stresses on the body that may be caused by:
- Any stressful event
- Pain, surgeries, illnesses
- Alterations in sleeping patterns or environment
- Addictions or use of stimulants such as coffee or medications
- Withdrawals from certain medications, drugs, alcohol or other stimulating substances
Long-term InsomniaOn the other hand, long-term insomnia lasts longer than 3 months and afflicts patients at least three times per week. The conditions that often accompany long-term insomnia are:
- Illnesses causing pain, breathing difficulties, stress
- Problems affecting mental health, PTS disorder, depression and anxiety
- Neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Medications and illegal drugs
- Other disorders that may affect sleep adversely like circadian rhythm disorders, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea and periodic limb movement