Across our busy and constantly connected world, sleep disorders are very common. According to the American Sleep Association, about 30% of adults in the United States suffer from insomnia, which is a difficulty falling or staying asleep, with about 10% experiencing chronic insomnia. The good news is insomnia can be treated naturally and holistically, without drugs or harmful side effects.

Yuliya Chernyak, DAOM, is a licensed acupuncturist and Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. At Central New Jersey Acupuncture & Wellness in Hazlet, New Jersey, she treats people suffering from insomnia with Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, which offers patients effective relief without the long-term risks associated with using prescription sleep medications. 

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a condition in which an affected individual has difficulty falling or staying asleep. To break it down, there are two types: primary insomnia and secondary insomnia.

Primary insomnia, also called idiopathic insomnia, is difficulty sleeping that is not caused by a medical condition. Secondary insomnia, on the other hand, is difficulty sleeping that is caused by a medical condition, which is usually chronic. For example, people living with diabetes often struggle with insomnia.

Treating insomnia is important, because it can affect your daily activities and long-term health. Common symptoms of insomnia are daytime tiredness, forgetfulness, and irritability. And these symptoms can lead to some terrible consequences. 

For example, drowsy driving causes more than 40,000 traffic-related injuries each year, with at least 1,500 of them proving fatal. Chronic insomnia can also raise your risk of developing other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, depression, and obesity.

What causes insomnia, and who’s at risk?

There are a number of reasons why you may experience insomnia. Some people have difficulty managing stress effectively, or they may spend too much time connected to their televisions and mobile devices before bed. 

Furthermore, some medications can make it difficult for certain people to fall asleep. And, having coffee or other stimulating beverages throughout the day — and especially at night — can hinder efforts to sleep.

Women and people over age 60 are also prone to experiencing insomnia, and so are people with irregular sleeping and working schedules.

Can I treat my insomnia without medication?

As an experienced practitioner of TCM, Dr. Chernyak offers safe, drug-free treatment for insomnia. She uses acupuncture, and sometimes combines it with other treatments, such as moxibustion, to help the body’s energies realign for healthy, quality sleep. 

Though more research is needed to understand the precise science behind acupuncture, this treatment works by targeting specific points on your body to regulate the flow of qi — pronounced “chee” — which is your body’s energy. Some scientific studies suggest that acupuncture stimulates the brain to release more melatonin, which is a calming hormone that helps induce sleep.

However, whether it’s the release of your body’s energies that’s the key, or whether it’s the release of substances such as melatonin that’s the main factor, there are a number of sleep studies that suggest acupuncture is an effective treatment for insomnia. 

What else do I need to get and stay asleep?

Before recommending treatment, Dr. Chernyak goes over your symptoms, habits, and medical history. Then, along with treatment, she may recommend various ways to help you get better rest, such as improving your sleep hygiene. This could involve stopping certain activities long before you get ready for bed.

If you’re tired of being tired because you just can’t sleep, Dr. Chernyak can help. To learn more, call 732-250-9873 or book an appointment online with Central New Jersey Acupuncture & Wellness today.

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