WHAT DO OUR PATIENTS THINK?
“I’ve had acupuncture before to help with my sleep, but I didn’t really feel that it helped much. After seeing Ben, I had the first decent nights sleep I’ve had in ages. Will be back again very soon. Much appreciated.”
Acupuncture for Insomnia and Sleep Disturbances
WHAT IS INSOMNIA?
Insomnia is defined as a sleep disorder whereby one may find it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both.
You are considered to have insomnia in the case of the following persisent symptoms:
- You find it difficult to get to sleep.
- You wake up several times during the night.
- You lie awake at night.
- You wake up early and cannot get back to sleep.
- You feel tired and unrefreshed after waking up.
- You find it difficult to nap during the day even though you’re tired.
- You feel tired and irritable during the day.
- You find it difficult to focus during the day due to tiredness.
Most people will experience a sleep disorder at some point in their lives. Symptoms may persist for months or even years. According to The Sleep Council, 40% of people in the UK suffer from a sleep disorder such as insomnia.
HOW MUCH SLEEP DO I NEED?
Everyone is different. However, it is recommended that adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
WHY AM I UNABLE TO SLEEP?
The most common causes of insomnia are:
- anxiety, stress and depression
- a room that’s too warm or cold
- an uncomfortable bed or mattress
- caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine
- recreational drugs like cocaine or ecstasy
- shift work
- jet lag
- peri-menopause and menopause
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
In the UK, around 10 million prescriptions for hypnotics are dispensed every year. Approximately 80% of such medications are for people aged 65 years+, and many patients remain on the drugs for months or even years. Unfortunately, such prescribing carries many potential hazards for patients, including a risk of dependence, accidents and other adverse effects on health (Acupuncture.org.uk, 2015).
Research shows acupuncture to be at least as effective as (and in some cases more effective than) existing conventional drugs in treating insomnia but without their associated side effects (Acupuncture.org.uk, 2015).
Acupuncture.org.uk (2015) Insomnia. [online] Available at: <https://acupuncture.org.uk/about-acupuncture/_fact-sheets/insomnia/> [Accessed 10 July 2021].
Mind.org.uk (2021) Sleep and mental health. [online] Available at: <https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/sleep-problems/about-sleep-and-mental-health> [Accessed 22 February 2021].
Nice.org.uk (2021) Insomnia | Health topics A to Z | CKS | NICE. [online] Available at: <https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/insomnia> [Accessed 22 February 2021].
Nhs.uk (2021) Insomnia. [online] Available at: <https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insomnia> [Accessed 22 February 2021].
The Sleep Council (2021) Home – The Sleep Council. [online] Available at: <https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/> [Accessed 22 February 2021].
Can acupuncture help me?
There is much high-quality research suggesting that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of insomnia and other sleep disturbances.
For the most up-to-date research and evidence on the efficacy of acupuncture, please visit the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) website.