If you have difficulty falling asleep or wake-up during the night you are experiencing symptoms of insomnia. Insomnia is more than just having a poor night's sleep. As this can be frustrating for most sleepers, insomnia sufferers can attest that the real effects of months or years of poor sleeping habits are most noticeable during the daytime. Long-term effects of insomnia include physical tiredness/lethargy, an inability to concentrate or focus and emotional disturbances such as irritability or depression. Furthermore, studies prove that individuals who get a minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep per night have lower blood pressure, reduced levels of stress and inflammation, suffer from less colds and flus, have better memory and are better able to control body weight. Sleep is an important time for us to physically and mentally regenerate, restore and recover from our everyday stressors, without it we are missing out on its amazing healing capacities. All the more reason to make sure you have a restful night's sleep.

In Chinese Medicine, the concept of yin and yang applies to a delicate balance of opposing energies within the universe and oneself. Yin relates to stillness, darkness and cold and its energy is predominant during the nighttime. Yang relates to movement, brightness and heat and its energy is predominant during the daytime. People who have trouble sleeping are not in sync with the energy of the universe. Their yang energies are more active at night - for example, their mind is overactive, they have vivid dreams or their bodies simply don't feel ready to sleep. Some individuals will toss and turn in bed all night while others will get out of bed to do household chores or go on the computer. These activities stimulate your senses and further perpetuate the sleepless cycle.

From a Western Medicine viewpoint, the hormone Melatonin is partly responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle by chemically causing drowsiness and lowering our body temperature, signaling to our bodies that it's time to sleep. Individuals who suffer from insomnia tend to have lower nocturnal outputs of Melatonin. A 2004 study on the effects of acupuncture for the treatment of insomnia concludes that acupuncture increases nocturnal melatonin secretion and reduces insomnia and anxiety (Spence et al, Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 2004). Acupuncture helps to regulate an individual's sleep-wake cycle by causing the body to release its own natural melatonin at the appropriate time of day. This is beneficial to the patient because acupuncture produces a long-term, sustainable effect on the body that cannot be achieved with melatonin supplements or medication.

Acupuncture is a widely used remedy for insomnia and is becoming increasingly popular as individuals who have developed a high tolerance for medication are looking for a permanent solution for their sleep issues. Regular treatments will gradually correct your insomnia and allow you to enjoy the wonderful benefits a good night's sleep has to offer.

Author's Bio: 

Amanda Merenda graduated from York University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. With an avid interested in the human body, she continuted her studies at the Toronto School of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a diploma in Acupuncture. From there she decided to study Western Medicine's view on acupuncture and enrolled in the Contemporary Medical Acupuncture program at McMaster University. She now incorporates both traditional and medical styles of acupuncuture into all her treatments. Amanda believes in treating the whole person and looking at the "big picture" when she determines her treatment plans. She creates a partnership with her patients that encourages them to live a healthy lifestyle outside of the treatment room. For more information please visit: www.besthealthacupuncture.com