How many times have you laid in bed, staring at your darkened ceiling wishing desperately to be able to fall asleep? We’ve all been there before, watching the clock tick closer and closer to your wake-up alarm, unable to sleep. Not being able to sleep is devastating on the mind, body, and moral.
It’s understandable that many people turn to prescription sleeping pills to help them get enough sleep. However, many people hate the unnatural feeling of prescription sleep aids- not to mention their potential for addiction.
Traditional Chinese medicine for sleeplessness is a wonderful alternative to prescription sleep meds. Not only are these suggestions more natural, but they treat the issue of sleeplessness from a holistic perspective aimed at restoring the body’s balance.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Sleeplessness and Insomnia
Before going into natural TCM remedies for problems related to insomnia, it’s important to understand some basic parts of Chinese medicine.
Traditional Chinese medicine understands sleeplessness as an imbalance of the body’s qi. As each patient is different, the remedy will be a little different for each patient. Generally speaking, difficulty falling asleep is attributed to an imbalance in the liver, while sleeping too lightly is an imbalance in the heart and spleen. An imbalance in the gallbladder is why some patients have too many nightmares or dreams that keep them from resting. Insomnia is blamed on imbalance in the heart and liver. A certified TCM practitioner will be able to diagnose a specific patient’s imbalance and recommend a natural solution.
That being said, there are some generally recommended natural solutions and Chinese medicine for sleeplessness that we can talk about.
Drink Chrysanthemum Tea or Soup
Chrysanthemum supplements and teas help restore balance in the liver. This substance can be integrated into your daily diet to improve sleep. Related to chamomile tea, chrysanthemum calms the mind, can soothe headaches, and reduce swelling.
Avoid Eating Spicy or Sweet Food and Caffeine
A diet change can help restore the balance to your liver as well. According to TCM, heating foods can cause the imbalance that leads to insomnia. Heating foods (yang foods) include spicy food, sweet food, and food that has an overly strong smell and flavor. Other heating substances include caffeine and alcohol. Balance your liver by avoiding these foods and choosing more cooling foods (yin foods). Cooling foods include neutral food like cucumber, banana, tofu, green beans, and watermelon.
Add Fructus Schisandrae to your Routine
Fructus Schisandrae has been used for hundreds of years in TCM to help people sleep better. As a substance that protects the liver from poison, it has several other health benefits in addition to treating sleeplessness. It is also considered an anti-aging agent, a blood sugar and blood pressure regulator, and an immune system stimulant.
Consume Astragalus Root
Astragalus Root is a staple in many TCM remedies, due to its many incredible properties. In addition to helping heart balance, consumption of astragalus root (also known as radix astragali) helps people sleep better and more peacefully. By consuming astragalus to improve metabolism, hormonal balances, and health in general, the imbalances that lead to sleeplessness are remedied.
Incorporate Goji Berries into your Diet
In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are used to treat a variety of ailments related to a deficiency in yin, meaning they are used to clear internal heat, specifically in the liver, lungs, and kidneys. Even outside of TCM, goji berries are acknowledged for their natural melatonin, a hormone that naturally encourages the body to sleep.
Combine Herbal Treatment with Acupuncture
Acupuncture is an excellent way to access the flow of qi in the body directly, encouraging its flow and restoring balance to specific areas in the body. A licensed acupuncturist will diagnose the correct points to help you sleep better. Acupressure can be employed in your home by pressing down on a small depression between your ear and the base of your skull. Massaging this area can help you relax before bed every night.
Soak your Feet in Warm Water with Ginger
You can also help blood and therefore qi flow by soaking your feet in warm or hot water. Adding ginger to the mix helps yang energy circulate throughout your body, avoiding its collection in the liver and improving sleep quality. Not to mention how relaxing it is!
There are No One-Size-Fits-All Solutions in TCM
Remember that traditional Chinese medicine solutions depend on many different factors that are difficult to diagnose on your own. We always suggest talking to a specialist and getting checked in order to find the solution best suited for your specific imbalances. This goes for Chinese medicine for sleeplessness and insomnia as well.