Creating Better Sleep Habits
I hear from so many patients that they are having trouble sleeping. Roughly half of all adults have experienced insomnia at some point or another. There are many treatment options for insomnia ranging from meditation to medications. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM) continue to come out on top of the list of suggested treatments for sleepless nights and improper circadian rhythms. The reason TCM is so effective has a lot to do with the adaptability of treatment modalities. TCM does not only suggest herbs and acupuncture, or massage and physical exercise, but also lifestyle changes to introduce healthy habits.
Here are some lifestyle adaptations you can consider if you or someone you love is struggling with insomnia.
1. Spend time outside: Stay in tune with nature by doing outdoor activities.
2. Digital detox: The digital stimulation we experience these days is overwhelming, though often necessary. Try to turn off the devices at least 2 hours before bed.
3. Plan for sleep: Setting a bedtime, and sticking with it, can help reset your sleep cycle. Also consider a wind down routine like having a cup of tea, a yoga or tai chi session, reading or writing.
4. Change the lighting: We are all sensitive to light. Create a darker environment in your home to help your brain ease out of the daytime stimulation and start slowing down.
5. Daytime activity: Studies show that people who exercise regularly tend to sleep better and feel less drowsy in the morning.
6. Late night binges: Stop ingesting caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine and go easy on the late-night snacks. Eating too late is common and can cause indigestion and restless nights.
7. Schedule your acupuncture evaluation.
Acupuncture has been proven by many studies to be a safe and effective treatment for insomnia. Treatments include acupuncture, at home acupressure routines, breathing exercises, lifestyle changes, environmental adaptations, herbal prescriptions, nutritional recommendations and so much more. Schedule your appointment to find out how Acupuncture and TCM can help you sleep better.