How Acupuncture Helps Insomnia in New York City - Upper East Side
Updated: Apr 6, 2020
Chinese Medicine differentiates insomnia into two main types, either difficulty falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep. Both types of insomnia respond really well to acupuncture. I have treated insomnia at my Upper East Side acupuncture clinic quite often. In general, New Yorkers are stressed out, we feel we have too much to do and spend a lot of time thinking about all the things we have to do. Our minds are definitely overactive. This hyperactivity of the mind will hinder us from getting restful sleep. Patients often state they just cannot shut their minds off at night especially when trying to fall asleep. They have a tendency to worry quite often. I have found this type of insomnia is more prevalent among younger people, although both types of insomnia can affect any age group.
The second type of insomnia I have found usually occurs in middle age particularly in females. Women may be having perimenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, nightsweats, or feelings of heat at night. Acupuncture treatments for this type of insomnia focus on clearing heat, which will reduce the severity of the hot flashes and night sweats. Although women feel increased heat during perimenopause and this may decrease sleep quality, there are some people who just naturally run hot. I remember a 40 year old man wanting help with his sleep. He came to our Upper East Side acupuncture clinic during the winter time and although the temperature was fairly cold around the mid 30's, he came into the office wearing shorts and a T-shirt. I focused on regulating his temperature and after 6 sessions, he was able to sleep through the night, but he felt much colder in general and started dressing more appropriately as the seasons changed.
Sometimes people wake up at night and need to use the bathroom, when they come back to bed, they find they cannot fall asleep. Sometimes they are using the bathroom 3-5 times per night and when it is finally time to wake up, they feel exhausted. I wouldn't necessarily call this pattern insomnia, but in this case sleep is definitely affected. With these patients, we need to focus on regulating their water metabolism. In Chinese medicine, water metabolism is influenced by 3 main organ systems, the lung, pancreas/spleen, and the kidney system. Channel evaluation and palpation is particularly helpful for these types of conditions. Usually after a few sessions a person who has been waking every hour will be able to sleep either through the night, or will wake to use the bathroom with much less frequency and is able to fall asleep when returning to bed.
1) Go to bed at the same time every night. Our bodies operate in rhythmic cycles, to maintain consistency with our sleep, we need to sleep and wake at the same time each day.
2) Minimize screen time before bed
3) Avoid alcohol and caffeine at night
4) Try a magnesium glycinate supplement. I recommend 600 mg daily before bedtime
5) Herbal therapy - there are many formulas to treat different patterns of insomnia. I recommend these to my patients if they need further assistance with their sleep, but in most cases acupuncture is enough to regulate sleep.
If you or someone you know has been struggling with sleep please call our Upper East Side acupuncture clinic for a complimentary consultation to see if acupuncture can help (917) 243-4947.