Do you or someone you know have problems with weight gain? If so, did you know acupuncture for weight loss is very effective? Too little sleep or sleep patterns that are inconsistent with your body’s internal biological clock may lead to increased risk of diabetes and overweight, according to a study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Acupuncture can reduce weight gain risk by re-harmonizing the sleep-wake cycle. It also has a calming effect on the nervous system.
Researchers at BWH examined 21 healthy participants in a lab environment for nearly six weeks. The researchers controlled how many hours of sleep participants got, as well as when they slept, and other factors such as activities and diet.
Participants started with getting optimal sleep (approximately 10 hours per night). This was followed by three weeks of 5.6 hours of sleep per 24-hour period with sleep occurring at all times of day and night, simulating the schedule of rotating shift workers. Participants were trying to sleep at unusual times within their internal circadian cycle—the body’s internal biological clock that regulates sleep-wake processes. The study closed with the participants having nine nights of recovery sleep at the usual time.
Prolonged sleep restriction with simultaneous circadian disruption decreased the participants’ resting metabolic rate. Moreover, during this period, glucose concentrations in the blood increased after meals, because of poor insulin secretion by the pancreas.
A decreased resting metabolic rate could translate into a yearly weight gain of over 10 pounds if diet and activity are unchanged. Increased glucose concentration and poor insulin secretion could lead to an increased risk for diabetes. The evidence is clear that getting enough sleep is important for health, and that sleep should be at night for optimal effects.
Acupuncture can be utilized as a primary or complementary therapy for the treatment of insomnia and other sleep disorders. Acupuncture increases production of serotonin, a chemical in the brain which aids sleep. Benefits of acupuncture for an imbalanced sleep cycle include:
- No risk of medication dependency.
- Better sleeping patterns.
- Deeper breathing.
- Improved digestion.
Acupuncture therapy resolves sleep disturbances by bringing the entire body into balance, which in turn regulates the metabolic rate of the body; aiding in natural weight loss. In addition to acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary modification, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes may be recommended by your acupuncture physician.
For more information about acupuncture for weight loss, call the Acupuncture and Massage College, at (305) 595-9500.