Why a Good Night's Rest Improves Fertility

It is recommended we get at least eight hours of sleep a night, yet many of us fall short of a true good night’s sleep.  While it is normal to occasionally have a restless night of sleep, it is not normal for it to happen on a regular basis.  Poor quality sleep disrupts the brain's ability to regulate hormonal functions and decreases the body's ability to carry on normal reproductive functions

What is insomnia?

If you suffer from insomnia, you likely feel the effects all day long.   Along with lack of sleep, you may feel physically tired during the day, have trouble concentrating, and even feel depressed.  A lack of sleep may also cause your body to overproduce stress hormones, causing you to be more nervous.

A variety of things can cause insomnia, including stress, anxiety and chronic pain.  Even a major life change or medications can play a part in insomnia.  To treat the problem at its core, you need to discover what is causing it.  Once you do, you can begin to find a solution. 

Using acupuncture to treat insomnia

Using prescription drugs to treat insomnia may carry serious side effects.  Patients may remain on them for months, or even years. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is noninvasive and virtually free of side effects.

Studies have shown that acupuncture can help improve quality of sleep for people suffering from insomnia.  They also show it may be better than medication alone.  One particular study, published in 2004, found acupuncture helpful for treating insomnia, and declared it may represent an alternative to medicine for some patients.

Penn State University researchers backed the conclusions of similar studies in 2007.  They found in all of the studies they reviewed, there was significant improvement when people used acupuncture to treat insomnia.

How acupuncture can work for you

Acupuncture works for insomnia by calming your nervous system.  When you are relaxed, you breathe deeper and you sleep better.  Because acupuncture treats you as a whole, it can help bring your entire body into balance.  You can also combine it with healthy living tips, like avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and practicing deep breathing and other exercises to help you relax before bedtime.

Sources:

Acupuncture Increases Nocturnal Melatonin Secretion and Reduces Insomnia and Anxiety: A Preliminary Report

D. Warren Spence, M.A., et al.  The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 2004;16:19-28.   Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2007 Aug;13(3):184-93. Epub 2007 Apr 6.