As daylight hours increase, our sleep can suffer. Everyone is prone to insomnia once in a while, but if it goes on for too long, it becomes a problem. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, chronic insomnia can be the result of dampness and heat.
When insomnia results from disease related physical discomfort, like difficulty breathing or stomach troubles, it’s resolved by treating the underlying ailment. However, when there’s no other apparent cause, it’s considered true insomnia and must be treated accordingly.
This type of insomnia usually includes:
- Difficulty time drifting off
- waking up between 2 to 4 AM with problems falling back asleep
- sleep becoming more difficult when stress levels go up
These symptoms are often related to heat, whether it’s invaded from an external source or from food stagnation, which results in added dampness. Food stagnation happens when a person doesn’t eat properly. They may overindulge in the springtime ritual of rich foods, alcohol, and sweets or they eat too much late at night. These habits can result in qi stagnating in the liver, which then translates into phlegmy heat. That then rises within the system to cause restlessness.
How to Resolve It?
Since insomnia is directly related to heat creating restlessness, your TCM practitioner will clear the heat during your session as well as any dampness with techniques like acupuncture.
There are also measures you can take to ensure restful sleep, such as getting plenty of exercise to keep dampness from accumulating and adopting relaxation techniques to help cool heat. Healthy bedtime routines are also valuable, like having set sleep times, avoiding eating too soon before sleep, and waking up at the same time every morning.
Are you having problems with insomnia? Give our twin cities acupuncture office a call for more information.