Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorders

Dr. Mao Shing Ni discusses time-tested remedies for sleeplessness on The Dr. Oz Show.

Are most of your nights spent tossing and turning? Have you tried supplements without success? We all have occasional sleeplessness but when it becomes frequent and affects your energy and mental clarity, it’s a disorder called insomnia. Sleep disorders are common and an estimated 50-70 million US adults have sleep disorders such as insomnia, snoring, sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, and restless leg syndrome. When chronic, these disorders can lead to memory problems, lack of concentration, anxiety, depression, low sex drive, and hyperactivity. Sleep disorders can also increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), obesity, diabetes, and chronic pain. At Tao of Wellness, we treat sleep disorders utilizing traditional therapies like acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional therapy, and mind-body exercise as safe and effective healing modalities. We would be honored to customize a treatment plan so you can enjoy your sleep and regain your life.

How We Successfully Treat Sleep Disorders

At Tao of Wellness, we understand the debilitating and frustrating effects of sleep disorders. Inadequate sleep impairs memory and alertness. It affects productivity, safety, and quality of life. Symptoms of sleep disorders may include the following:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Frequent waking during the night along with difficulty falling back to sleep
  • Awakening too early
  • Restless sleep including tossing, turning and muscle aches
  • Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep
  • Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating

Contributing factors of sleep disorders include stress, anxiety, depression, or changes in your environment or work schedule. Medical conditions such as chronic pain, breathing difficulties, respiratory conditions, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), thyroid disease, cancer, neurological conditions, menopause, and pregnancy can also affect changes in your sleep patterns. Medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure medications, decongestants, weight loss supplements and corticosteroids can also cause sleep impairment. Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and late night eating are factors as well.

Conventional physicians often prescribe Ambien, Sonata, Lunesta, and other drugs to facilitate sleep. Most of these drugs are only meant for short-term use but many people become dependent on sleep medications for long periods. Sleep medications are often associated with serious side effects including addiction, cognitive impairment, and increased risk of falls and accidents.

Regardless of how long you’ve suffered from sleep disorders or what medications and supplements you’re already taking, making an appointment at Tao of Wellness is in your best interest to treat your sleep disorder. We’re an integrative clinic that works alongside the other doctors on your medical team. You’ll start by setting up an initial consultation where one of our doctors will review your current condition in addition to your medical history. Each patient’s sleep experience can be unique and different. We want to know what symptoms you have been experiencing along with the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of your life. After your consultation we will offer an individualized treatment plan including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and nutritional therapy. Tuina bodywork and mind body exercise may also be recommended. Your doctor will then answer any questions you have before beginning your therapy.

Our Customized Therapies for Overcoming Sleep Disorder
s

Customized Treatment Program
Chinese Medicine is a group of holistic healing modalities that focus not only on treating your symptoms but also on supporting overall health of all your bodily systems. This approach aims to provide long lasting therapeutic effects. There is no one program for everyone who suffers from a sleep disorder. At Tao of Wellness your doctor will develop a plan that is personalized just for you. Your therapies will be performed at our clinic but you will also learn self-healing tools for your daily life. What you do every day at home will have a lasting impact on how you recover from your sleep disorder and work toward keeping it away to regain healthy sleep.

Acupuncture
There are therapeutic points all over the body that aid in promoting healthy sleep. Being that each person experiences sleep differently, each acupuncture treatment is just as varied. You may receive acupuncture on your head, ears, arms, legs, back, or chest. Your body responds to acupuncture by secreting neurochemicals such as endorphins and serotonin that have relaxing and mood-lifting effects. With repeated acupuncture treatments, your body will learn to regulate itself toward a state of healthy, peaceful sleep. Learn more about acupuncture.

Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine is an effective therapy for treating sleep disorders. Herbs that have relaxing effects include jujube seeds, bamboo shavings, and oyster shell. Like any other Chinese medical therapy, there is no singular sleep formula. Based on your unique experience, a customized herbal combination will be made for you. Learn more about Chinese herbal medicine.

Nutritional Therapy

Nutritional Consultations
Each patient receives nutritional guidance but a nutritional consultation goes further to identify your specific eating habits. We provide a custom eating plan from the ground up, complete with meals and snacks using foods that specifically work on improving your health and your sleep.

Here are several nutrition tips for sleep. Avoid late night eating, allowing at least three hours without food before sleep. Cut back on eating bacon, cheese, chocolate, ham, potatoes, and tomatoes. These foods contain tyramine, which inhibit neurochemicals that impair your sleep. Foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan, such as warm milk, turkey, and whole grains can facilitate sleep. Other foods that can also be helpful for healing sleep disorders include green leafy vegetables, asparagus, avocados, apricots, bananas, broccoli, brown rice, figs, salmon, squash, basil, dill, soy, and mulberries. Drinking valerian or passion flower tea every night before bedtime for one month can be helpful. Your Tao of Wellness doctor will recommend specific nutritional guidelines that are right for you.

Nutritional Supplements
Your Tao of Wellness doctor may recommend nutritional supplements as a part of your treatment regimen. Calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin B complex can help improve sleep. Amino acid compounds 5HTP and inositol may also be helpful as they act as precursors to neurotransmitters for sleep. Natural Melatonin is also used to signal the body into its sleep mode. Your doctor will recommend a specific supplementation plan that is right for you. Learn more about nutritional therapy.

Mind Body Exercise
Tai chi and qi gong are excellent healing exercises for people suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders. These exercises are often practiced gently to produce relaxing effects. At Tao of Wellness you’ll find a choice of certified instructors in several forms of tai chi and qi gong. Your doctor will work with you in determining the right practice as a supplement to your other exercise and nutrition regimens. Learn more about tai chi and qi gong.

InfiniChi Energy Therapy
InfiniChi is Chinese medical energy therapy in the Tao of Wellness tradition. This is a series of non-touch techniques that aim to relax and regulate your nervous and hormonal systems to promote healthy sleep. You’ll have the opportunity before and after your treatment to communicate the changes you feel. And your doctor will likely prescribe simple homework of breathing or visualization exercises to keep this therapy working for you when you’re not in our clinic. Learn more about InfiniChi.

Lifestyle Recommendations

Sleep Hygiene
Creating an environment that is conducive for peaceful sleep and relaxation is important for treating sleep disorder. Incorporating certain bedtime activities can also facilitate your body to prepare for healthy sleep:

Create a quiet, cozy atmosphere, keeping decorations minimal and lighting dim.
Lavender, vanilla, and green apple aromas help induce sleep and are ideal in heated essential oil form.
Keep pets outside the bedroom, as they can prevent you from sleeping.
To remove excessive worry or thinking at night, write in a journal before bed to empty your thoughts.
Soak your feet in a hot Epsom salt bath for 15 minutes before bedtime to produce a relaxation response.
Take a warm shower without getting your hair wet before bed. When you exit the shower your body temperature will drop which will naturally prepare your body for sleep.

Exercise
Exercise promotes healthy sleep. In general, people who exercise sleep better than those who don’t. Physical activity improves sleep by altering brain chemistry. Exercise moderately for 20-30 minutes three times a week, avoiding exercise at least two hours before bedtime. Meditation or tai chi & qi gong (body mind exercise) in the evening will help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Sleep Disorder Patient Success Stories

Healthy Sleep Restored after Cancer

Kathy is 44 years old and came to Tao of Wellness after finishing her chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer. After her cancer treatments she suffered from insomnia for three months. She had difficulty falling asleep as well as staying asleep. She also experienced night sweats. In Kathy’s case, cancer treatment affected her hormonal system, and the imbalance lead to insomnia. She received weekly acupuncture and a customized Chinese herbal formula which she took daily. After a few weeks of treatment, she was able to sleep better and her night sweats resolved. By the end of three months of treatment, Kathy was able to sleep without any difficulty or interruption, and her healthy sleep was restored.

Sleep Restored and Anxiety Diminished
John is 55 years old and came to Tao of Wellness hoping to alleviate his chronic insomnia and anxiety. He had been working at a stressful job for many years as an executive in a big corporation. John had difficulty falling asleep, and suffered from frequent waking throughout the night. During the day, anxiety and excessive worrying took over his mind. A customized Chinese herbal formula was prescribed for John and he received weekly acupuncture. After 2 treatments, John started to fall asleep easier and woke up less during the night. After three months of regular treatment, his sleep was restored and his anxiety was drastically reduced. John continued to receive acupuncture and herbal medicine for a second three month period at a reduced frequency. He was then able to sleep without herbal medicine or acupuncture, and anxiety episodes became almost non-existent.[/toggle]

Natural Healthcare for Sleep Disorders

Tao of Wellness was established in 1976 as a resource to address sleep disorders. We strive to support you in mind and body, and invite you to make an appointment for your health and wellbeing. It would be our pleasure to serve you.

Schedule an Appointment