Every living organism on the planet needs sleep. It is an integral component of human health, and a sufficient amount of good quality, restful sleep is essential to prevent illness as well as cultivate health and facilitate longevity. The general medical consensus is that seven to nine hours of sleep is the appropriate amount to support optimal health in adults.
Of course, most people will have occasional sleepless nights during their life, but for some insomnia can become chronic. Chronic insomnia – defined as having difficulty sleeping several times a week for several months – can severely disrupt a person’s life and adversely affect their wellbeing. This lack of rest puts a damper over a person’s mood, affecting their quality of life, and can turn sleep into a chore that they dread instead of a relieving opportunity to rest and recover.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, approximately one in ten adults had chronic insomnia, and the prevalence was one in three for those visiting their general physician.
A recent report from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine indicated that 56 per cent of those surveyed had experienced an increase in sleep disturbance during the pandemic, which increased to 70 per cent in those aged 35 to 44 years old. The sleep difficulties being reported during this time are not only in people recovering from COVID-19, but in the far larger number of people worldwide whose lives have been turned upside down due to fear of becoming ill and dying as well as social isolation due to lockdown. Following this increase, neurologists who specialise in sleep disorders witnessing this surge have developed the term ‘COVID-somnia’.
Fifty-one per cent of these participants surveyed reported using sleep medication, over-the-counter supplements or other substances to help them fall asleep, and 68 per cent acknowledged increased use of these aids during the pandemic. The potential for long-term mental health problems including anxiety, depression and the further impact of insomnia (especially if it becomes chronic) are significant. The resulting overuse of prescription sleep medication for an extended period of time is also concerning.
We Can Help
Due to its ability to customize treatments to specific individuals, Traditional Chinese Medicine is often superior to modern medicine in the treatment of chronic diseases including insomnia. Chinese Herbal Medicine and acupuncture can offer substantial clinical benefits to patients who have been unresponsive to other forms of treatment. Modern research of using various Chinese herbs and acupuncture been shown to have less side effects in the treatment of chronic insomnia and unlike modern medicine, are curative not palliative, as they aim to eliminate the pathology of the disease instead of controlling or suppressing the symptoms.
In most cases of chronic insomnia, modern medicine at best can only temporarily alleviate the symptoms using various medications. However, in addition to the lack of effectiveness of these treatments, there are also possible side effects of repeated or long-term use of these medications. The unwelcomed side-effects and addictive nature of tranquilizers (i.e. benzodiazepines) and their profound effects on the brain and body have been known for over forty years. These medications are not designed to be taken long-term and side-effects and rebound withdrawl when stopping their use are increased greatly if taken for more than a few weeks. Although these facts are widely known and accepted in the medical community these drugs are among the most widely prescribed in the world today and are increasingly being prescribed during the pandemic to help people cope with the increased stress they are experiencing.
Any long-term treatment of a disease has to have properties that will make the user want to continue using it. That means it must be:
- Effective and provide relief of symptoms
- Safe, with few unwanted side effects
- Easy to use
Chinese Herbal Medicine and acupuncture when prescribed correctly can meet all of these criteria.
Please call us today for your FREE assessment ($120 value) so we can begin to help you sleep better and regain your health.