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Acupuncture for Insomnia

Benefits of Acupuncture on Insomnia

Using sharp objects like acupuncture needles does not seem like your first option to have a better sleeping pattern, but do not be misled by first impressions. Since most medications are not entirely effective, it is important to think outside the box and look for alternative treatment solutions like acupuncture that can greatly improve your sleep. 

There are lots of people who have attested to the fact that smart drugs, EEG neurofeedback, playing with magnetic fields, honey, and teas can help with insomnia to some extent, but not as much as acupuncture. Over the years, acupuncture has gained popularity, and more acupuncturists have stepped up to spread the practice. 

How acupuncture works

According to a study that was conducted in 2004, patients who suffered from anxiety had better sleep after acupuncture. Many patients who suffered from anxiety and insomnia have gained better sleep after visiting an acupuncturist. Not only does acupuncture improve the sleeping patterns, but it helps one to improve their energy and mental clarity. You can become more productive at work as you enjoy quality time at night.   

Treating insomnia using acupuncture

For centuries, acupuncturists have been treating insomnia symptoms, and they are still providing relief. Before needles are stuck under your skin, time is spent on distilling insomnia’s nature. There are different types of insomnia that people experience:

•    General inability to sleep

•    Sleeping with disruptive and vivid dreams

•    Late or terminal insomnia, or waking very early while finding it impossible to sleep again

•    Waking up in the middle of the night and you cannot go back to sleep easily

The different types of insomnia listed above indicate different energy imbalances. There is no single type of insomnia that will be treated the same way as the other during acupuncture because each type has its own imbalance. Chinese medicine is a holistic approach and the treatments are always tailored for the individual. 

Symptoms of insomnia are not commonly cured with a single appointment at the acupuncturist. The fact is that your practitioner will advise you to seek more therapy session several times a week for a short period of time, depending on the type of insomnia you have. There are lots of patients who report relaxation and calmness after their first acupuncture treatment, and there are those who report an involuntary release of emotions during the sessions. 

Ask your doctor to be referred to a reputable acupuncturist. Alternatively, you can inquire from the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, NCCAOM, CALE, PCOM or from your local acupuncture school.

Chinese Herbs are commonly used to help with insomnia. Chinese herbs are safe, effective and rarely have side effects. Chinese herbal formulas don’t cause a sluggish or hangover effect the next day that many sleeping medications cause. 


  1. Don’t eat at least 3 hours before bed. Your stomach should be empty other than water, sleepy time teas, or Chinese herbal sleep formulas. 
  2. Drink sleepy teas. Chamomile, Mint, Valerian Root. 
  3. Take Chinese Herbs. These are safe and nourishing for the blood. Chinese herbal formulas nourish your body and help rebuild your blood while you sleep. 
  4. Don’t use your phone, tv, computers for at least 2 hours before bed. These put out a blue light that is terrible for our nervous system. This blue light is like putting speed directly into our nervous system. You can get special lenses that block blue light. 
  5. Find an acupuncturist and get some relief. The needles don’t hurt. 
  6. Don’t have caffeine in the afternoon. No matter how tired you feel. Take a short nap, meditate, walk or exercise instead of more caffeine. Replace the caffeine with better habits. This is hard the first week or two but your body will respond with more energy and better mental clarity. 
  7. Lay off the coffee in the am. Limit yourself to 1 cup or less.  Try green teas. Coffee hits your adrenal glands and dehydrates you. This over time can lead to adrenal and chronic fatigue.  
  8. Exercise every single day. This is a tough habit to set when you are tired but it is worth it. Exercise and acupuncture both release endorphins that make you feel good and have more energy and less pain. Give yourself at least 30 minutes a day. This can be as simple as 30-minute walk. Just get your butt moving! NO EXCUSES WILL COUNT. 
  9. Meditate. Meditation is one of the best things for your brain and nervous system. Sit or lay down and breathe deeply into your belly. This kicks your parasympathetic nervous system in and gets you out of stress mode, fight and flight or sympathetic nervous system.

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