Insomnia is a problem that affects nearly everyone at some point, and missing out on good sleep is severely detrimental to overall health. Without proper sleep, our brain function and motor coordination suffer. Our hormones become unbalanced, and our metabolism slows down. Here are a few reasons why your sleep might be off, and what you can do about it!
You are in peri-menopause are or menopausal.
I list this first because it is incredibly common! Women approaching or in menopause produce less estrogen, which we consider to be a Yin substance in Chinese Medicine. Yin is cooling, gives the body substance, moistens the sinews, and gives the spirit a place to rest. Insomnia with night sweats and hot flashes are widely accepted as par for the course during peri-menopause. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to endure this torture as your body changes! Chinese herbs and acupuncture work wonders to supplement yin and settle your spirit so you can rest well again.
You have recently given birth or lost blood due to trauma.
Blood is another yin substance within the body that you need in order to feel settled at night. Since you had a baby or lost blood, have you felt like you’re sleeping lighter, or are you not able to fall asleep because your thoughts are racing? Chinese herbs and acupuncture can supplement that nourishment you lost so you can get your sleep back and have the energy you need to be a mom!
Your magnesium levels are low.
Drinking alcohol and caffeine can cause your body to excrete, rather than absorb, magnesium, causing your blood to be magnesium deficient. If you also experience constipation, muscle cramps, or muscle tics, you may be low in magnesium. Supplement with trace mineral drops in your water to re-balance your electrolytes and get better sleep. Caution with getting too much magnesium, which will cause loose stools.
You’re under a lot of stress.
If your racing thoughts of what happened during the day and what’s coming up tomorrow are constantly interfering with your ability to sleep, it can be really hard to break the cycle. Try journaling before bed to get all of those thoughts out of your mind and onto paper. Acupuncture is also a great option during times of stress. Acupuncture can’t take away your stressors, but it can help you to process the stress more healthily in your body. When you’re stressed, your body turns on your sympathetic nervous system and you go into “fight or flight” mode, producing cortisol and taxing your adrenals. This can cause you to feel "wired and tired" all the time; exhausted but unable to rest. Acupuncture turns off the sympathetic nervous system and turns on the parasympathetic, allowing you to “rest and digest” and process your stress so that it does not keep you up at night.
You have a habit of eating late into the night.
If you’re eating or drinking past 7PM, especially sugary foods and alcohol, this could be keeping you awake, or causing you to wake up hot or sweaty in the night. Any food or drink you consume later in the evening does not get processed by your digestive system right away. The food sitting in your stomach heats up in the night, causing you to wake up feeling hot and sweaty. Lifestyle modifications, Chinese herbs, and acupuncture can help you break this cycle and end your night sweats for good!
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when faced with insomnia, but acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine work wonders to help you get the sleep you need! Call for a free consultation to find out if Lorrie & Jennifer can help you with your insomnia! (970) 599-1027
I also recommend:
1. Soak your feet in hot water just above your ankles each night before bed to bring energy out of your head and into your feet.
2. Think about relaxing your pinkie finger when you want to fall asleep. It connects to the heart channel and relaxes the heart.
I hope that helps!