Nearly two out of three Americans are affected by insomnia and other sleep disorders. With that many people resting poorly, it is a wonder anyone gets through the work-week let alone their whole life. While there are many pharmaceuticals available to induce sleep, there are centuries-old traditional techniques that can help get you your sleep.
The traditional Chinese medical view on sleep
In Chinese medicine, nighttime is considered “yin” time – the time when your body takes care of itself instead of your desires. Proper sleep is necessary for your body to repair itself and regenerate. It is also critical for the proper functioning of organs such as the liver, which performs most of its detoxification at night while you are sleeping.
Insomnia is one of the most common conditions I see in my practice, usually as part of a pattern of imbalances. Excessive worry, anxiety, and depression all negatively affect the delicate balance of the liver, spleen, and heart, disturbing the spirit and activating the mind. Once the mind is active, it becomes increasingly difficult to fall asleep. To reach deep, restful sleep, your spirit and heart must be calm and your liver and spleen networks must work together to process nutrients.