As stated in my last article on insomnia, it is a major problem in the U.S., affecting over 60 million people. Here is some more recent information that has come to light. Chronic insomnia due to sleep disorders is more prevalent in working women ages 20 – 60 (27%) then men (20%) and is worse for those under the age of 60 then those over 60. It is said to negatively impact health by decreasing mental acuity, focus, concentration, memory, and longevity. Insomnia increases our risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, accidents, irritability, mood disorders, and low energy. It definitely leaves people feeling frazzled and with less patience, increasing stress and taking some of the joy out of life. Even more bad news for sufferers recently as studies show that modern treatments for sleep apnea with CPAP machines, a big source of insomnia, do little to nothing to counter the negative effects of sleep disorders. Although it helps people with concentration and focus, CPAP wont help stave off cardiovascular problems inherent in this group.
In my practice sleep disorders are very common; every week I treat at least a couple of cases of insomnia. Many people seek out natural treatments for insomnia for numerous reasons, often because their current Western treatments aren’t working or that using a pharmaceutical approach is undesirable because it leaves people groggy and tired the next day. Traditional Chinese Medicine works extremely well for most cases of insomnia because it treats the root of the problem while causing no side effects. Sleep apnea, stress or anxiety, PTSD, hormonal issues, metabolic problems, drug side effects, and pain conditions are some of the root causes of insomnia that TCM can address. Typically the tools employed are acupuncture, herbs, supplements, and good sleep hygiene practices. Although resolution is often not quick for chronic insomnia, regular treatments and a little patience improves sleep length and quality over time.
If you or a loved one is suffering from sleep disorders causing insomnia, contact me to set up an appointment at my office located in downtown Fort Collins.