Welcome to month four of our 12 Months of Wellness. We want to congratulate you if you’ve made it this far. If you are just now being introduced to our 12 Months of Wellness you can find the entire series here.
This month we are helping you understand the connection between sleep, stress and overall well-being. We invite you to check in with your sleep patterns and make some minor changes to your day if you find yourself ever having trouble sleeping.
Most adults have experienced insomnia or sleeplessness at one time in their lives. An estimated 30%-50% of the general population are affected by insomnia, and 10% have chronic insomnia. The concern is if you don’t address short term sleeplessness it may develop into chronic insomnia.
Some signs of insomnia and sleeplessness:
- You lay in bed for hours, feeling tired but unable to fall asleep
- You toss and turn when you sleep at night
- You have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep
- You feel lethargic and groggy after you wake up
In our fast-paced lifestyles, stress can often cause us to give up sleep in order to catch up on work or other responsibilities. This can cause us problems when trying to fall asleep and many of us reach for over the counter or prescription sleep aids which only put a band-aid on the problem, rather than address the root of the cause.
Many of the causes of short-term sleeplessness and insomnia are similar and they include:
- Changes in work schedule
- Jet lag
- Excessive or unpleasant noise
- Uncomfortable room temperature (too hot or too cold)
- Stressful situations in life (exam preparation, loss of a loved one, unemployment, divorce, or separation)
- Presence of an acute medical or surgical illness or hospitalization
- Withdrawal from drug, alcohol, sedative, or stimulant medications
- Insomnia related to high altitude (mountains)
- Long hours at a computer screen
Tips to help you sleep better:
- Keep a consistent sleeping schedule
- Keep your room completely dark and quiet
- Maintain the temperature of your room not hotter than 70 degrees
- Find ways to reduce your stress levels like warm baths and meditation
- Receive Acupuncture treatments
- Eliminate the use of back lit screens several hours before bed
How Acupuncture can help to improve your sleep:
Acupuncture is effective in treating stress induced sleep issues by balancing the endocrine/hormone regulated activities. Chronic stress causes our stress hormones to become hyperactive, this in turn suppresses our feedback hormone. Acupuncture helps to regulate the endocrine system by needling acu-points selected for the insomnia and our bodies adjust the feedback system and normal sleeping are patterns restored.
Sleep problems due to medication and some other physiological causes span from circadian rhythm disorders, sleep-wake imbalance, to a variety of medical conditions are more complex to treat. If you need a day off work then check out this article to get a sick note. This will take a longer period of time to treat the underlying conditions and causes of the sleep issues.
You do not have to put up with sleepless nights. Simple changes in your daily habits like getting to bed at the same time every night and turning off the computer and tv screen well before bed can resolve short-term sleeplessness and restore your much needed rest. Use this months downloadable worksheet to assess your sleeping patterns and set intentions to get a better night’s sleep.
Here are my intentions so you can see how simple this can be:
DOWNLOAD MONTH 4 – SLEEP & ACUPUNCTURE
DOWNLOAD THE FULL 12 MONTH PRINTABLE BOOKLET HERE
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Dr. Tsai is our on-site Acupuncturist and she can help you with any sleeping issues you may be experiencing. Remember short term sleep problems can develop into chronic insomnia, schedule a session today. Click here to learn more about Dr. Tsai.
Click here for more information on sleep and insomnia.