Knowing that our society has been changed with new advances in technology and communication devices (TV, internet, e-mail, Facebook, etc.), insomnia is happening more frequently than ever before. Shift work and the use of the computer at night make the human body feel restless and also add to the increased frequency of insomnia. This lack of sleep may be aggravated by recreational addictions, such as caffeine, alcohol, food and nicotine, increasing incidents of sleep deprivation and insomnia.
Greater sleep time is seen in babies and than in the elderly. Therefore, the age of the person must be taken into consideration because the duration of sleep time often depends on the age of the individual. Sleep patterns gradually change as we get older. Also, how we live in this society is taking a toll on how well and how long we sleep each night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 20% of Americans report getting less than 6 hours of sleep each night on average and the amount of Americans being able to rest a full 8 hours is decreasing.
Too little sleep is detrimental to the body because the body is not able to detoxify itself, to renew itself. Detoxification activities take place in the liver and kidneys while but when we deprive our bodies the necessary hours of sleep, we are contributing yet another side effect of insomnia—weight gain, just one more result of toxicity.
As per Oriental medicine, insomnia is a yin-yang disorder, where yin is suppressed and decreased and yang is restless and increased. When this balance is not harmonized, insomnia ensues. It is essential to have a good night’s sleep every night in order to rejuvenate and eliminate waste and toxins that accumulated in the body during the day due to stress, metabolic waste from food, toxins, etc. This is why, as part of the regular doctor-patient interview, it is important that doctors ask patients about their sleep patterns, how well they sleep, if it is difficult to fall to sleep or remain asleep, if they dream and, if so, the severity of the dreams?
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been helping many patients to balance their bodies, restore their sleep and get the rest they need to be able to function well and productively.
Please request a consultation to be evaluated for sleep disorders and to find out how acupuncture can help your body sleep well and get the rest it needs.
by Consuelo Camarillo de Gonzalez Lic. A.C.