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More than 60 million people in the United States suffer from insomnia, a condition characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep. If you are one of these people or know someone who is – lifestyle changes and acupuncture can help.

Some of the common results of insomnia include fatigue, difficulty losing weight, depression and irritability.

Insomnia has a number of causes, including stress, depression or anxiety; irregular work schedules; medications, drug or alcohol abuse; major life changes; chronic pain, hyperthyroidism or arthritis.

First, try these lifestyle tips for a better night’s sleep:
• Adhere to a regular bedtime
• Reduce food and drinks with caffeine such as tea, coffee, and chocolate
• Reduce stress with regular exercise
• Sleep in complete darkness
• Don’t drink any fluids within two hours of going to bed
• Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed
• No TV right before bed because it’s too stimulating to the brain
• Try aromatherapy – burning these three oils together in an infuser in the bedroom: 4 drops Lavender essential oil, 2 drops Jasmine essential oil and 3 drops Chamomile essential oil

If, after practicing these lifestyle suggestions, you still have trouble sleeping, see a licensed acupuncturist to help ensure you are getting the rest you need. Acupuncture has been proven to have a calming effect on the nervous system and will lead you back to a place of balance.

Sweet dreams!

Ashley Herrin, D.O.M., A.P., M.S.

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