Acupuncture Can Optimize Sleep Patterns and Free You from Insomnia
- 1 hr1 hour
- Michael Faraday Drive
“Despite the skepticism of some physicians, acupuncture is increasingly an evidence-based medicine,” says Gary Stanton, MD, a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist at Emerson Hospital in Concord, MA. Stanton is board certified in neurology, sleep medicine, and acupuncture, and he practices acupuncture on his patients. “I consider it to be one among several treatment options for a variety of problems, pain and sleep,” he says. For Stanton, acupuncture is an alternative to medications, like benzodiazepines, used to treat insomnia. “Patients appreciate choices,” Stanton says. “Acupuncture is safe, it promotes healing from within, and it poses much less risks to a patient than drug therapy.” In a small 2017 study, researchers gave traditional acupuncture or sham acupuncture, where needles are not inserted as far into the skin, to 72 people with primary insomnia. Participants were treated 3 times per week for 4 weeks. Researchers found that acupuncture was more effective at improving insomnia symptoms, sleep efficiency, and total sleep time during treatment. People’s sleep awakenings and self-rated anxiety also improved significantly 2 and 4 weeks after treatment. A 2013 double-blind study of 180 people with primary insomnia found that traditional acupuncture was more effective at increasing sleep quality and daytime functioning than sham acupuncture or the sedative medication estazolam.
1800 Michael Faraday Drive, Reston, VA 20190, USA