When we can’t sleep, it’s usually because our bodies are unable to quiet down. Acupuncture is one of the remedies for those who are unable to sleep.
I am a 38-year-old working adult and have been exercising to manage my stress. For the past two weeks, I am having trouble sleeping at night, as I keep tossing and turning. When I do fall asleep, I have trouble staying asleep as my sleep is short and interrupted. I am feeling really lethargic. What are some remedies?
The general reason why people find it difficult to fall asleep is that body activity is unable to quiet down at night. The most fundamental thing you should do is to avoid doing your exercises at night and go to bed at a regular time. In order to be functioning optimally, the body needs to be in harmony with the environment.
Related: 3 Ways to Improve Sleep Quality
The first pattern of insomnia is due to hyperactivity of emotions. Patients exhibiting this pattern would also experience irritability, giddiness or headache and pain in the flanks. This pattern is usually directly linked to unmanageable stress.
The second pattern is due to poor nourishment, caused by poor nutrition or weak digestion, leading to pale complexion, heart palpitations, absent mindedness, fatigue and excessive perspiration.
The third pattern is due to imbalanced digestion, where sufferers experience bloating, acid reflux, frustration, and/or bitter taste in the mouth.
From the Chinese medicine perspective, any or a combination of these patterns could be the underlying reason for your sleep problems.
Related: Sleep Deprivation
Acupuncture is one way that could help with this health condition and it involves needles that are placed and manipulated in specific points in the body. These points are mostly found on meridians or channels that are linked to functions in our body.
Acupuncture aims to correct imbalances that manifest as symptoms like the ones you described. Generally, points on the head and limbs will be selected, but would vary slightly based on the different patterns exhibited.
Modern research has shown that acupuncture affects our nervous system, and it triggers the release of chemicals like serotonin and endorphins. These are our natural painkillers and substances that relax us, and at the same time, improve mental health and promote the sense of wellbeing.
Related: 11 Healthy Habits to Sleep Better
It is recommended to undergo treatment in the afternoon or evening as compared to the morning. Your condition has been on-going for two weeks, which is considered relatively short and easy to rectify.
When you cannot sleep or are not getting enough sleep, you can also try doing foot soaks before sleep. There are various acupuncture points on our foot and calf. A warm foot soak promotes circulation to these points and stimulates them to ease the mind and promote better sleep.
Reply by Ms Melissa Ong, Acupuncturist, Specialist Outpatient Clinic, KTPH
Download the HealthHub app on
Google Play or
Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.
Read these next:
This article was last reviewed on
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
The ABCs of Health Screening
How To Identify And Deal With Depression
Delicious Diabetes Friendly Recipes - Eat Well, Live Well
Hidden Sugars and Diabetes
Plan Your Meals with My Healthy Plate
View More Programmes
Subsidised health screening for Singapore Citizens.
A resource guide for stroke survivors, their loved ones and caregivers. Find out how to spot the warning signs and symptoms of a stroke. Learn how you can support patients in seeking treatment and recovery from stroke.
Stay smoke-free for 28 days and you're 5 times more likely to quit for good.
Browse Live Healthy
In partnership with