CSA Physio Blog

Insomnia, Acupuncture and You

Posted on: August 27th, 2019 by Alexandra Stam

A good night’s rest is an important part of our health, and insomnia is a real drag. Sleep influences everything from how we heal to how we perform. 


Everyone knows how difficult it can be to function without a good night’s sleep. 

Insomnia refers to the inability to fall asleep easily, waking up during the night, sleeping restlessly, waking up too early and dream-disturbed sleep. 

Acupuncture and Insomnia


How could a couple of needles possibly help me sleep better?

It’s all based on balance!

Our bodies go through many cycles every day. Our digestion, metabolism, nervous system, hormones and sleep all work in cycles. These systems of our body cycle through times when they are more active and times when they are at rest.

Sometimes these cycles can get a little out of balance between activity and rest, causing dysfunction.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we call these times of activity Yang and times of rest Yin. 

You might be familiar with the Yin/Yang symbol. Yang is the white portion and Yin is the black portion. They are balanced in one cycle.

Your circadian rhythm is a yin & yang cycle. In the day you are in a state of yang/activity. At night when you are sleeping, you are in a state of yin/rest.

Insomnia occurs when your circadian rhythm is out of balance.

Acupuncture can help your insomnia by restoring the balance between the cycles of activity and rest in your circadian rhythms. It does this by balancing the nervous system and hormones associated with your circadian rhythms.

If you would like to explore this option, I’m here to help.  Here are some other tips and tricks you can try tonight to get a good nights sleep:


Pre-Bedtime Blue Light

Blue light waves from our indoor lighting, computers and phones tell our brains that it is day time! This has a big impact on how our brains prepare for sleep. 

Try limiting your phone and computer use 1-2 hours before bed, and use a program like Flux to reduce the blue light. 

If you are a night time reader like I am, try using a red light for your reading. I noticed a huge difference in one night. 

Find your alarm clock sweet spot

Our brain cycles through phases of sleep. Phases where we are in light sleep and phases where we are in deep sleep. 

If your alarm clock goes off when we are in a deep sleep phase, it ‘startles’ you out of your deep sleep phase. This can leave you feeling groggy, unrested and sleepy. 

If your alarm clock goes off when we are in a light sleep phase, we wake up feeling well-rested.

Android has an app called Sleepytime that has changed how I sleep forever. 

Sleepytime calculates what exact time your alarm should go off based on the timing of your sleep phases. So your alarm goes off when you are likely to be in your lightest phase of sleep.  Wouldn’t that be great?

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Clinic Status update effective May 4: In addition to providing Virtual Care for our physiotherapy patients, we are now permitted to offer in-clinic physiotherapy in certain situations. Find out more here.

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