Good sleep is so vital to everyday life that when it is disturbed even a little, you can feel run down and tired for days to come. Chronic sleep disorders like insomnia can be crippling to your life and health and it affects 50-70 million Americans making it is a serious public health problem and much more common than you may think. Luckily, there are things you can do to combat it.
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a condition where a person has trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep . Some people may fall asleep easily but wake up constantly, while others might have a hard time falling asleep, both contributing to not feeling rested in the morning.
Insomnia is categorized into two different groups: primary insomnia and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia has no external causes to keep the person awake or wake them up from sleep, like pain of discomfort. Secondary insomnia is usually a symptom of another condition that is causing the sleep disturbances. Usually, treating the condition will resolve the insomnia. Secondary insomnia is the more prevalent of the 2 types of insomnia.
Causes of Secondary Insomnia
Secondary insomnia can be caused by many different conditions, these are some of the major causes of secondary insomnia. Source: What Causes Insomnia? .
- Stress and anxiety
- Pain and discomfort
- Breathing difficulties
- Other sleep disorders
- Caffeine, tobacco, alcohol
For additional statistics and information about insomnia and leading causes of insomnia check out The Sleep Judge's List of Insomnia Statistics .
A Better Treatment
While sleep medications can help you fall asleep faster or stay asleep longer, the quality of sleep compared to a natural night of sleep is just not the same. Not only that, prolonged use can cause increased tolerance to the medication and even induce bizarre side effects like sleep walking, hallucinations, or sleep driving . The occurrence is so common for some sleep medications that the term "Ambien zombie" has been used to describe such side effects.
A healthier alternative is acupuncture in conjunction with Chinese herbal medicine. Instead of trying to drug you to sleep, acupuncture treats the individual as a whole and works to heal the underlying cause of your sleep disorder and in the process helps you sleep better in the long term. Acupuncture has been shown to improve sleep quality and treat insomnia better than sleep medications , and even better when combined with Chinese herbal medicine.
If you are one of the millions of people suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders, try acupuncture. Acupuncture can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer while treating the underlying causes of your sleep disorder so you can have more energy and focus from day-to-day.