According to a recent CNN report, nearly half of all Americans have difficulty sleeping! Another 15% of the general population suffers with chronic insomnia. Lack of sleep has far worse health implications that fatigue or irritability the next day. The body uses time spent sleeping to perform many crucial regenerative, detoxifying processes. Chronic insomnia is associated with a wide range of adverse consequences including depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse, poor concentration and memory, increased risk for accidental injury, decreased work productivity, increased risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, accelerated aging, weight gain, and gastrointestinal disease.

Sleeping medications are one of the most popular advertisements on television today, who hasn’t seen the peaceful purple butterfly promoting Lunesta? Sleeping medications have severe side effects, and although the new ones are touted as ‘non-addictive’ they are extremely difficult to discontinue, and cause rebound insomnia. If fact, the package information printed for these medications clearly indicates they were not intended to be used for more than seven consecutive days.

Adrenal deregulation is very common in our society today, and this can result in elevation of the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol in the evening prevents restful sleep and causes abdominal adiposity. Lowered levels of melatonin and other hormones can also cause debilitating insomnia. Stress, anxiety, menopause, pain, depression, physical disease and other imbalances can all contribute to insomnia.
Acupuncture directly influences the nervous system, decreases stress, balances adrenal function, and promotes relaxation. Herbal medicine can be added to emphasize treatment goals (directly balance adrenal function, increase neurotransmitter function, increase melatonin, promote relaxation of muscles and mental function). A review of the recent on acupuncture and insomnia showed consistently positive results. “To examine critically the role of acupuncture in treatment of insomnia, we performed a systematic review of published literature. Among the selected studies for review many were clinical case series and some open or randomized clinical trials. Even though several of these studies did not clarify the nature of insomnia (primary vs. secondary), it seemed that many of the subjects enrolled in these studies had co-morbid other psychiatric (depression or anxiety disorders) and/or medical conditions (Hemodialysis, Stroke, Pregnancy). Several of these studies had methodological limitations. Despite the limitations of the reviewed studies, all of them consistently indicate significant improvement in insomnia with acupuncture.


[2] National Institute of health

[3] Kalavapalli R, Singareddy R. Role of acupuncture in the treatment of insomnia: A comprehensive review. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2007 Aug;13(3):184-93 Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2007 Aug;13(3):184-93