Waking up during the night and unable to fall back asleep
Unable to sleep the whole night
Not feeling refreshed after waking up
Low-energy during the daytime
Falling asleep during the daytime
Unable to function or perform normal daily tasks
Poor memory or trouble concentrating
There can be many organs involved in a case of insomnia from an Eastern medicine point of view; and the presentation of insomnia can either be deficient, excess, or a combination of the two. In either case, the Shen (mind) is disturbed. In cases of deficiency, the Shen is undernourished; it's not getting enough Qi or blood. Deficient patterns usually involve Heart and Spleen deficiency or a Heart and Gallbladder deficiency. In the former, the Spleen and the Heart can be effected by over-thinking, or worrying too much. If the Spleen's function is impaired from a poor diet or eating too many sweets, this will allow dampness to accumulate and possibly transform into phlegm which can be carried up to the Heart and the head, where it can block the meridians and sensory orifices.
In cases of excess, the Shen is being agitated by pathogens such as, phlegm-heat, phlegm-fire, dampness or blood stasis. The most common presentation in this category is when the Liver becomes depressed due to stress, anger, frustration, the over-consumption of alcohol / drugs, or a poor diet of greasy - fried foods. When the liver becomes depressed, the Qi stagnates creating heat, and this heat can transform into fire, which can ascend upwards to harass the Heart and spirit / mind. Another manifestation is when the Food stagnates in the digestive system, it can cause heat, which can turn into fire and combine with phlegm; which can ascend upwards to harass the Heart and spirit.
Herbal therapy is crucial for the treatment of insomnia. The idea is to replenish what is deficient and purge what is excessive. The treatment focuses on regulating Qi and blood, bringing Yin & Yang back into balance, calming the mind and the nervous system, transforming / dispelling dampness and phlegm, and restoring normal functions to the organ systems. Acupuncture is used to support this therapy by improving the circulation of Qi & blood, improving digestion, unobstructing meridians, and balancing Yin & Yang.
5 Tips to Help You Sleep
1. Don't drink any caffeinated beverages after 6pm.
2. Try doing some meditation 20 minutes before going to bed.
3. Remove all electronics from your room. Don't place the alarm clock or your cell phone near your head.
4. Two hours before bedtime, try a cup of tea to relax you. Good choices are:valerian, chamomile, or passionflower.
5. Avoid eating late dinners.
1. Insomnia is linked to increased risk of heart failure Date: March 6, 2013 Source: European Society of Cardiology (ESC)
2. Ji-you Kou, Yan Wei, Xin Tong, Long Yang. Effect of combined acupuncture and Shen Zao An Shen Tang on sleep quality of insomnia patients due to deficiency of the heart and spleen. Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science 12, no. 2 (2014): 96-100.