Most of us have experienced insomnia at some point in our lives, it can be mild inconvenience when it happens infrequently and completely debilitating when occurring regularly.
Here are 6 ways to improve our sleep!
1. Acupuncture for insomnia and improving sleep is always my first choice as it helps the body to rebalance, relax, helps us release stress and quieten the mind which is one of the biggest causes of lost sleep!
2. Reducing Stress in our lives is sometimes difficult to do and we need to find ways to help process the emotional and physical tension it creates. Stress is not only one of the biggest causes of insomnia, it also causes many other health issues such as depression, anxiety and other emotional and physical symptoms. It's easy to see why in chinese medicine we believe the emotions are the root cause of many diseases in the body.
3. Exercise is an important way in which we can improve our sleep. Research shows that moderate exercise like a long Walk, Yoga or Tai Chi can improve our sleep. However exercise such as running or weight lifting showed no ability to help improve sleep. This is possibly due the affect that mild to moderate exercise has on regulating our circadian rhythm or body clock.
4. Our Bedtime and the time we wake help our body clock to regulate itself. This allows the body and mind to start the process of getting us ready for sleeping and allows our brain to enter the state of deeper sleep we need to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
5. Limiting Screen time also has a big impact on our quality of sleep. The blue light that is produced by our smart phones, tablets and computers produce alter our brain waves and suppress our production of the hormone melatonin which we need to sleep.
6. Writing a List of your tasks for the next day, any worries you have and ideas about how you might be able to solve them before going to bed helps you to stop thinking about them while falling asleep. If the mind feels like has to try to remember tasks for the next day at bedtime it can get caught in a feedback loop where it gets stuck repeating the same thought over and over again. Writing a list allows the mind to relax.
The more we can combine the above approaches, the greater our chances of a good nights sleep.
In my acupuncture clinic in central london I treat lots of people for insomnia and sleep problems, some apply many of the tips above and can even remove or minimise their cause of stress, but we are not always able to remove the causes of stress from our lives immediately. In these cases I find that the best approach is to combine acupuncture with as many of the other methods above as possible until a balance has been acheived.
I hope these tips help you to have a happy nights rest!
If you are sufferring from any of the issues in the article and would like acupuncture for insomnia or sleep problems please get in contact today.