Acupuncture for Insomnia and Sleep Disorders
How a patient in our office eliminated the need for sleep medication
Acupuncture is growing in popularity as a treatment for a variety of health conditions, like allergies, asthma, stress, depression, and insomnia. Often, patients share how poor sleep is affecting every aspect of their lives.
Insomnia symptoms can last for a few days to months or longer and often include:
having a hard time falling asleep
waking up during the night and finding it difficult to fall back asleep
waking up early
Yes, our patients have found relief from sleep difficulties using acupuncture. Our acupuncturist will assess your specific concerns and evaluate your sleep difficulties. If you are a good candidate for acupuncture, a treatment plan will be created just for you.
We see many patients taking the prescription medication Trazodone to alleviate symptoms of insomnia. Recently, a patient in our office reported that he was able to gradually reduce his Trazodone dose from 50 mg to 25 mg, then 12 mg, and ultimately eliminating the need for it. At a follow-up acupuncture session, he was happy to share that he had not taken it for over three weeks.
This was done through coordination between his primary care physician and his provider in our office. This patient was under our care for treatment of insomnia using acupuncture. He received acupuncture at intervals of about 2-3 times per week for 3 months. He shares that his nightmares have reduced in intensity and frequency and that overall ‘my head feels clearer.’
Does acupuncture really work for insomnia? A meta-analysis published in the journal Sleep Medicine in May 2022 suggests that “multiple acupuncture therapies showed impressive insomnia improvement.” Researchers analyzed 57 randomized controlled trials.
Acupuncture is a technique that involves inserting needles into the skin to stimulate certain areas of the body to have a specific effect.
You may wonder, what is acupuncture and what does it feel like? Very fine single-use, disposable needles are used during an acupuncture session and are inserted into specific areas of the body to help it heal naturally. Patients typically don’t feel the needle insertion, or only feel a slight pinch.
How many acupuncture treatments are needed for insomnia? Initially, you can expect a recommendation of 8-10 sessions. Responses to acupuncture vary. Typically, our patients see results after a few sessions.
Acupuncture has been shown to improve sleep quality and increase sleep duration in sleep disorders. It has also demonstrated efficacy in treating anxiety and depression - conditions that are often related to chronic insomnia.