The results are in, and they are irrefutable. A landmark meta-analysis involving 46 randomized trials and 3811 patients, showed that acupuncture is more effective than sleeping pills for increasing sleep duration, with an improvement of at least 3 hours per night. Best of all, unlike medication, there were no serious adverse effects. Impressively, acupuncture also appears to be effective for sleep apnea sufferers, especially those with moderate and severe cases, yielding measurable improvements in apnea-hypopnea index, Epworth Sleepiness Scores, and lowest oxygen saturation. So how does it work? It appears to stimulate the release of endorphins, which have a calming effect and boosts levels of γ-amino butyric acid, resulting in enhanced sleep quality. Indeed, measurements of brain waves have shown a shift from wavelengths associated with fight or flight to wavelengths associated with rest and digest after acupuncture treatments.

Insomnia is a growing health concern. Between 2007 and 2015, rates of insomnia among Canadians increased by a whopping 42%. With stress and anxiety levels constantly on the rise, more and more people are having trouble sleeping, This affects their ability to cope and regulate emotions, which in turn affects sleep quality and quantity, creating a vicious cycle. Indeed, insomnia has proven to be very difficult to treat by conventional means, with sleeping pills having numerous unwanted side effects.

Sleep apnea, a condition where breathing stops during sleep, affects 22% of the population, with prevalence increasing with age. While things like losing weight or quitting smoking may help reduce the severity, many people end up needing to use sleep ap machines to maintain sufficient oxygen levels during sleep. Unfortunately, these large, awkward machines can also negatively affect sleep.

The consequences of chronic poor sleep are profound. Studies have shown that it is linked to increased risk of depression, hypertension, and even decreases life with associated higher rates of hypertension, coronary artery disease, and stroke.

I utilize a comprehensive treatment strategy. In addition to needle acupuncture, I may include modalities such as cupping, gua sha, electroacupuncture, or even laser acupuncture. This comprehensive approach means that we are able to get better results in fewer treatments.