Everyone deals with insomnia at some point in their lives. For some people it’s an occasional annoyance, for others a life-altering challenge to their health and ability to function. From the viewpoint of Chinese Medicine, there can be many different causes of insomnia. It can be a caused by a deficiency of Blood and Qi or by internal heat pathogens or even by stasis, when the body is not circulating blood and qi in a healthy way. Getting to the heart of the cause of the insomnia and individualizing treatment is what makes Chinese Medicine superior to one-size-fits-all pharmaceutical drug treatment. Here are some of our approaches to treat insomnia.
*The Deficient Patient: This person is often a young woman, with normal or scanty menses, who suffers with anxiety and insomnia. She may be cold or she may alternate feeling cold with feeling hot at night. Her tongue will often be pale. We will use blood and qi building herbs and dietary therapy that builds blood and qi.
*The Hot Patient: This person will feel hot a lot or very hot at night. They may have symptoms of nausea or unexplained vomiting and sweating. The tongue will be red. We will use herbs that cool blood, have a gentle, sedative effect and expel heat from the body
*The Yang Rising Patient: This person may have excess symptoms of rising yang such as feeling hot, headaches, anxiety. The tongue may be red with a peeled coating. We will use herbs that nourish yin, sedate yang and expel heat from the body
*The Stagnant Patient: Signs of stasis such as body pain, menstrual pain, purple tongue, cold hands/feet give us a clue as to the nature of this type of insomnia. We will use herbs that improve circulation of blood and qi.
Nutritional supplements and dietary therapy for insomnia: Dietary therapy can have an impact on insomnia. It is especially important to avoid hot and spicy foods. My favorite nutritional supplements for insomnia are time-release Melatonin and GABA. These are usually not a cure, but can help with symptomatic relief.
Good sleep hygiene is imperative for insomnia. Reduce usage of computers, devices, TV during the day and eliminate after 6pm. Use the evening to wind down by listening to quiet music, meditating being outside in nature, take a shower, etc.
If you have trouble with insomnia, give us a call (240)-780-9130 or schedule here!