It can also mean you wake up too early and can’t fall back to sleep, you wake frequently in the night and/or you feel tired when you wake up. If you suffer from insomnia, you know that it can affect your quality of life. You may frequently feel tired and irritable, you may have trouble concentrating and your memory might be affected as well.
Stress, emotional upset, physical discomfort, schedule disruption, environmental factors, medications, consumption of alcohol/nicotine/caffeine and medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism are all things that can cause insomnia.
As an acupuncturist, I frequently treat people with insomnia. I find a few lifestyle adjustments made in conjunction to treatment, make all the difference. Here are the suggestions I make to anyone I see who suffers from insomnia.
- Keep your bedroom dark and cool
- Use your bed for only sleep and sex
- No work desks/computers or exercise equipment in the bedroom
- No television in the bedroom
- Keep the clock out of view
- Use earplugs and a sleep mask if you can’t make it quiet or dark
- Keep a note book beside your bed to record any concerns that might crop up when you are trying to go to sleep
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day – even weekends
- The hours before midnight are most important – aim to be in bed by 9:30 and asleep by 10
- Wind down before bed by reading a book (no screens) or listening to calm music
- Avoid naps, but if you must, have them before noon
- Drink your days’ water between breakfast and supper, don’t drink much after 7
- Don’t go to bed hungry or too full. Have a light snack between supper and bedtime, but
don’t try to sleep after a large meal
- Exercise is very important for a good night’s sleep. Aim to do it early in the day
- Walking briskly outside for 30 minutes per day is ideal. Getting sun in your eyes and on
your skin is excellent for hormone and circadian rhythm balance
- Intense exercise can be stimulating, and if done later in the day, it may disrupt your sleep.! !
Avoid stimulants, especially after noon. This includes caffeine (coffee, chocolate), alcohol,
tobacco, sugar and recreational drugs.
If you are suffering from insomnia, acupuncture might help. An acupuncture treatment can include cupping, plum blossom needling and/or auricular stimulation using needles or ear seeds. Acupuncture works by regulating the Qi and Blood flow through your meridians. It can help stimulate the body’s own healing ability by regulating hormone levels in the body and the brain.