Does Acupuncture Help Cure Insomnia?

Acupuncture is a widely used technique these days for the treatment of various diseases and primarily for pain relief as well. What many are not aware of is that acupuncture is also an excellent cure for insomnia.

In Chinese medicine, insomnia is known to be of many types and these include:

  • Difficulty in going to sleep or sleep onset insomnia.
  • Waking in the middle of the night and unable to go back to sleep immediately.
  • Late or terminal insomnia, or waking up very early in the morning and unable to fall back to sleep again.
  • Sleep that is disturbed by disruptive dreaming.
  • And lastly, an inability to sleep in general.

In acupuncture, each type of insomnia indicates an energy imbalance in a particular area of the body. Therefore, acupuncture treats each type of insomnia in a different manner. The exact nature of your insomnia determines the type of acupuncture therapy you will be requiring.

Does Acupuncture Help Cure Insomnia?

Does Acupuncture Help Cure Insomnia?

A research study done in 2004 had found that in patients suffering from anxiety, acupuncture was able to increase the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in humans and is known for regulating the levels of sleep and wakefulness. After receiving acupuncture therapy, patients fell asleep faster and felt less awake at night and also experienced less stress. The researchers of the study were able to conclude successfully that the treatment of acupuncture will be of value to cure patients with insomnia. Many other studies have also shown clearly that acupuncture improves the quality of sleep in people suffering from health problems and in patients with HIV as well. Sleep activity and quality were improved after five weeks of acupuncture therapy.

Connecting the Meridians to the Emotions

Traditional Chinese medicine associates each meridian of the body to an emotion. It is believed that the Qi or Chi energy flows through the body’s meridians. Meridians can be looked upon as the energy highways of your body. Meridians can present throughout the body and flow within the body and not on the surface. This is why the acupuncture needles are inserted into your skin so that they can reach the meridian points that need to be corrected. After an accurate diagnosis, your acupuncturist will then decide on the course of your treatment to cure your insomnia.

In People Suffering From Insomnia, The Primary Meridians That Are Affected Include:

Meridian – Heart.

Emotion That It Affects – Anxiety.

Effect on Insomnia Patients – Difficulty in falling asleep and difficulty in waking up.

Meridian – Liver.

Emotion That It Affects – Frustration, stress and anger.

Effect on Insomnia Patients – Difficulty in falling asleep and frequently waking up between 1 to 3 a.m.

Meridian – Spleen.

Emotion That It Affects – Worry and obsessive behavior.

Effect on Insomnia Patients – Having a disturbed sleep, disturbed-dreaming, and waking up at the same time every night

Meridian – Lungs.

Emotion That It Affects – Grief.

Effect on Insomnia Patients – Waking up between 3 to 5 a.m.

As can be seen, the blockage or imbalance in the body’s meridians have a profound impact on your sleep patterns and there is a firm belief in traditional Chinese medicine that by correcting the energy flows within your body, you will be able to get back to having a good night’s sleep again.

How Can You Use Acupuncture to Cure Insomnia?

If you want to experience the benefits of acupuncture then here are some steps to follow:

Step 1: The first step involves finding a well-qualified acupuncturist. You can search for some renowned acupuncturist in your area through the internet, or you can also ask around for recommendations. Many websites also offer a list of well-qualified acupuncturists that you can refer to. Make sure you read a couple of patient reviews of the acupuncturist before you visit them to find out about their practice and how they treat their patients.

Step 2: Once you have selected your acupuncturist, it is very important that you form a bond with them and that you feel comfortable. Acupuncture is not just about having needles inserted into your skin. You need to be comfortable with your therapist and also feel confident in your acupuncturist’s healing abilities. This does not mean that an acupuncturist you don’t like will not be able to heal you. However, if you develop a comfort factor with your acupuncturist then you will get the maximum benefit from your acupuncture experience. This will also allow your acupuncturist to understand your body and your mind better and help cure insomnia.

Step 3: Make an honest effort to benefit from your acupuncture treatment. You will have to undergo several sittings with your acupuncturist before you can experience any benefit from acupuncture regarding your insomnia. You will only be able to notice a significant change in your sleep patterns after you have had 5 to 10 sittings. Many times, the improvements can be immediate and long lasting as well.


It is always best to not judge a treatment before you have tried it for yourself. While sticking needles into your skin to achieve a good night’s sleep may seem like a painful process, it is indeed not. In fact, one hardly feels the pinch of the needles when they are inserted as they are very thin. Sometimes, ordinary processes can have extraordinary consequences. Therefore, give acupuncture a try as there is a sound theory that supports the treatment of insomnia through acupuncture.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 15, 2018

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