It seems that folks these days are pretty sleep deprived. So many of us spend our nights tossing and turning. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if we were napping to make up for the lost hours of sleep, but due to busy lifestyles, naps are not a priority for most… But maybe they should be–a brief mid-day slumber of 20-30 minutes can increase alertness and boost mood. Furthermore, naps can enhance performance and decrease the risk of mistakes and accidents.
So what does all of this have to do with acupuncture?
During an acupuncture treatment, you may find yourself drifting off, aka: “acu-napping”. During your needled (and needed) doze, not only are you getting treatment, you are sneaking in a rejuvenating nap at the same time.
I can nap at home, why come in for an acu-nap?
A study conducted in 2004 at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto found that in patients with anxiety, acupuncture increased nighttime melatonin production and total sleep time. And the patients who received acupuncture also fell asleep faster, were less aroused at night and were less stressed overall.
Why is sleep so important?
Everyone knows how bad it feels to be sleep deprived. We might be groggy, grumpy, out of sorts, nauseous, achy, confused… the list goes on. Our bodies need a certain amount of good quality sleep in order to function. It’s not surprising that sleep deprivation has been used as a means of interrogation and even torture!
There is so much happening inside our bodies while we are sleeping. There are processes that help in the consolidation of memories and learning as well as hormonal production and regulation, which contribute to our appetite the following day.
You can think of sleep as a form of brainwashing–but the good kind! As you know, the cells in your body are constantly creating waste. Our lymphatic system is what cleans up the mess in our body but it stops at the neck. So how does the brain get cleaned?
Let’s geek out for a second. It turns out that the cerebral spinal fluid that fills our brain travels down the outside of our blood vessels collecting cellular waste and carrying it out of the brain. Squeaky clean! But guess what? This process happens only when we are asleep.
Are you tired of getting a bad sleep? Then why not give acupuncture a try? Your acupuncturist will come up with a treatment protocol specifically for you to improve your quality of sleep. And all they will ask of you is that you kick back under a warm blanket on the treatment table and let the needles do their work.