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Acupuncture Beats Drug For Insomnia Relief

July 27, 2017

Here is a new study just released comparing acupuncture to medication. Guess which one wins?

Acupuncture outperforms drug therapy for the treatment of insomnia. Hangzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers compared the efficaciousness of auricular acupuncture with estazolam drug therapy for the treatment of insomnia in senior citizens. Estazolam achieved an 82.9% total effective rate and auricular acupuncture achieved a 91.4% total effective rate. Acupuncture outperformed drug therapy for the improvement of sleep quality, duration, and daytime functioning. Results were determined by analysis of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) scores.

Source: Acupuncture Beats Drug For Insomnia Relief


Insomnia is more common than you might think, at least 30% of people experience insomnia at some point in their lives.

Several facts to think about.

  • Those who sleep next to a snoring partner lose one hour of sleep each night.
  • 25% of children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD have a sleep disorder. When fixed, these symptoms disappear.
  • One night of sleep deprivation can put your body into a diabetic state!
  • A decrease in sleep by 1.5 hours reduces performance by 32%.
  • Reaction time after staying awake for 17-19 hours is worse than a 0.05% blood alcohol level.

If you’re not sleeping you’re not healing.

  • You’re hungrier, because poor sleep increases ghrelin production (a hunger stimulant). And guess what? It fuels your cravings for carbs and sugar.
  • You’re less able to feel full because poor sleep suppresses leptin (a hunger suppressant). You know what that means? You eat more.
  • You’re metabolically similar to a type II diabetic because your insulin production is thrown out of whack. Prepare for fat storage!
  • Your thyroid suffers because T3 production declines. Uh oh. That can’t be good.
  • You’re more stressed, you’re more likely to face periods of depression and anxiety, your sex hormones are screwed up—when I tell you sleep is CRITICAL, this is exactly what I mean!
  • 5 hours or less sleep reduces a young man’s testosterone levels by the same amount as aging 10 to 15 years.
  • Adults who sleep less than six hours a night have a four times higher risk of catching a cold

In this part of the world, productivity is everything, often to our detriment. People work long hours, make lots of sacrifices and tend to be over-scheduled. It’s as if sleeping is a weakness to some degree. If I’m asleep, I’m not adding to my company’s bottom line. If I take a nap, my kids won’t be getting my attention. If I go to bed earlier, I’ll miss my favorite television series.

Think about this: in many parts of the world, sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. Where we’re from, people are voluntarily depriving themselves of quality, restorative sleep.

Getting adequate sleep is key to health, but medication is not the answer.
A previous analysis of studies financed by the National Institutes of Health found that sleeping pills like Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata reduced the average time it takes to fall asleep by about 13 minutes compared to placebo, while increasing total sleep time by about 11 minutes. Interestingly, participants believed they had slept longer, by up to one hour, when taking the pills. This is thought to be due to anterograde amnesia, which causes trouble with forming memories. When people wake up after taking sleeping pills, they may, in fact, simply forget they’d been unable to sleep.
A startling study published in 2012 revealed that people who take sleeping pills not only have a 35 percent higher risk for certain cancers, they’re also nearly four times as likely to die as people who don’t take them.
• Sleep aids that contain Benadryl can have a half life of about 18 hours, so if you take them every night, you’re basically sedated for a large portion of the day as well, resulting in cognitive deficits and accident proneness
• Medications Increase the risk for dementia in seniors (anti-cholinergics)


Good sleep hygiene is the key to good health, there are also a number of natural remedies like Magnesium, Melatonin, Glycine, 5HTP, herbs, etc.. that can help get a deeper night’s sleep. Acupuncture can also be helpful. If you are having sleeping issues you should schedule an appointment so we can help you improve your health.

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