Sleeping disorders and acupuncture

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Acupuncture helps to sleep better!

Insomnia, a common issue in our society.

 

The most common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy. Insomnia, a common complaint at our office causing patients a number of problems, such as weight gain, bad mood, irritability and lack of concentration, among others.

The problem.

According to the NIH, at least 40 million Americans each year suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders each year, and an additional 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems.

Issues.

Sleeping disorders and the resulting sleep deprivation interfere with work, driving, and social activities. They also account for an estimated $16 billion in medical costs each year Full article here

Prescription of sleeping pills are usually needed as reflected in the increasing sales of sleeping was estimated at 9.0 billion by the Global Information Analysts where the US represents the largest market for sleeping pills globally, accounting for a share of more than 48% of the global market. Read the article

The risks.

Dr. Daniel Kripke has published several studies on the dangers of long term use of sleeping pills, as mentioned in an article at Webmd on sleep disorders  He studied the possible link between sleeping pills and death and it showed that sleeping pill users have a 5.3% higher chance of death and 35% higher cancer risk. Over an average of 2.5 years, the death rate for those who did not use sleeping pills was 1.2%. and 6.1% for people with sleeping pill prescriptions, showing that the chances of death increases with sleeping pills. Even those prescribed 18 or fewer sleeping pills a year had a 3.6-fold higher death risk. Based on these findings, Kripke and colleagues estimate that sleeping pills are linked between 320,000 and 507,000 U.S. deaths each year . Even thought is not concrete enough to prove that sleeping pills are linked to death, it does show that people take sleeping pills have a higher risk of getting sick and a higher risk for addiction.

The alternative.

Fortunately, we are able to help many patients with alternative medicine. In our clinic we use acupuncture alone or combined with other modalities of Chinese Medicine, such as herbal supplements, massages dietary recommendations and daily life changes.  As previous research has shown sleeping pills have side effects that can affect your life, so why not trying natural techniques that have been in use for centuries?

For those interested in the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, here you are some articles compiled by the British Acupuncture Council Read more although you should have in mind that the parameters considered in Traditional Chinese Medicine are different to those used in biomedicine, therefore it is not possible to compare side-by side. I will expand on that in future post.

Disclaimer: This post contains general information about health topics but does not constitute medical advice. If you have any questions related with your condition you should contact your doctor or healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering form any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.