People today are more stressed and have worse sleep than ever before. There is a strong connection between both of these issues and a hugely negative impact on overall health.
According to the American Sleep Association, most healthy adults need 7-9 hours of sleep nightly to function their best. Yet study after study shows that most Americans are not getting close to this amount of sleep.
In fact a national Sleep Survey revealed that 40 percent of respondents are not getting this recommended amount of sleep.
What is the most common cause for these restless nights and lack of quality sleep? The answer is simple, stress.
Many of the stressors we face in modern life, such as relationship stress, busy schedules, work deadlines and financial worries, trigger our natural stress response.
Exposure to this heightened level of stress day after day for prolonged periods change the ways our body releases natural hormones and endrophins that ultimately results in shorter sleep times and lower sleep quality.
When you experience a perceived threat, physical or psychological, your body goes into a fight-or-flight response, and the hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released. The release of these stress hormones give you a burst of energy, which is extremely usefull to make quick decisions to fight or run in order to stay alive.
This response is natural and extremely important for survival in extreme acute stress, such as escaping a burning building. However, it is when this stress response and subsequent release of stress hormones happen, day after day in our busy modern lives, that the impact compounds and causes major health issues, such as poor sleep.
This entire stress hormonal response is controlled by negative feedback loops mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) access in the brain and nervous system.
The HPA access also plays an important role in regulating our body’s clock, the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. Chronic stress has been correlated with HPA overdrive, leading to decreased sleep duration, worse quality sleep, impaired memory, and poor mood regulation.
The World Health Organization acupuncture study reports that acupuncture affects the body on many levels.
According to the study, acupuncture deactivates parts of the brain and decreases neuronal activity, so that the limbic system physically alters the body's experience by shutting down pain and stress regions in the brain.
When the body is under stress, the HPA axis becomes hyperactive and acupuncture can calm this response.
Acupuncture has been shown to not only regulate the release of stress hormones, but also increase the release of endorphins, the body’s own ‘feel-good’ chemicals. This dual effect allows for a decrease in stress levels, while also regulating pain levels, blood pressure, improving sleep and a myriad of other issues caused by chronic stress.
My favorite place for acu with a side of meditation! I've been going weekly for relaxation/sleep/destress and swear by it. The entire team from front to back is awesome - and extremely caring.
Sleep and chronic stress are clearly linked. Not only does acupuncture help with better sleep but also addresses the root stress issues that are causing the sleep issues in the first place.
By balancing the bodys natural stress response, lowering cortisol and adrenaline and reversing the effects of chronic stress, acupuncture treatments help to break the vicious cycle of chronic stress and poor sleep.
If you have trouble sleeping or regularly struggle with fatigue, brain fog or other effects of poor sleep and, you owe it to yourself to try acupuncture for a better nights sleep.
Modern Acupuncture® is a natural stress relief solution and the leading provider of acupuncture in the U.S. The most studied theories show that acupuncture stimulates the body to release naturally produced “feel good” endorphins and stimulate the parasympathetic or “rest and digest” response in our body, alleviating symptoms associated with stress.
Visit the clinic nearest you today.