Say Good-Bye to Insomnia

16 February, 2012 at 22:09 | Posted in Body & Mind, Chinese culture | 1 Comment
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By Jingduan Yang, M.D.

Insomnia affects millions of individuals, their families, and communities. Sufferers have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or they wake up too early and are unable to get back to sleep. People who suffer from insomnia usually wake up feeling tired.

Insomnia happens occasionally to people who are experiencing very stressful life events, consuming too many caffeinated beverages or alcohol, or suffering from pain or other physical discomfort. Once the contributing factors are dealt with, these people will no longer suffer from insomnia.

Modern Treatment

Chronic insomnia affects the quality of life, mood, memory, and cognitive functions, and it impairs work performance.

Doctors may prescribe sleeping pills like Benzodiazepine receptor agonists that affect brain neurotransmitters. In addition to the possibility of developing physical and psychological dependence, long-term use of these medications often produces side effects such as residual daytime sedation, cognitive impairment, inhibited motor skills, and rebound insomnia.

Natural Supplements

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland, normally starting in the mid or late evening and diminishing in the early morning. It helps regulate sleep-and-wake cycles.

People take melatonin for conquering jet leg and insomnia. People should use only man-made melatonin with the guidance of their doctors rather then purchasing it on their own.

Melatonin may help immune functions as well. However, melatonin has side effects such as daytime grogginess, lowered body temperature, and vivid dreams.

Valerian root is an herb that has been used for centuries for relieving anxiety and initiating sleep. People with insomnia should take it right before bedtime. Valerian root needs to be used for a period of two to four weeks if the insomnia is chronic.

Possible side effects of valerian root include mild headaches or indigestion, abnormal heartbeat, and even insomnia in some people. Unfortunately, valerian root smells like sweaty socks.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

According to the theories of ancient Chinese medicine, insomnia is the result of imbalanced chi, involving multiple organ and meridian systems. The organ and meridian systems commonly involved in chronic insomnia are the heart, liver, kidney, and spleen.

Patients with chronic insomnia might have different types of chi imbalance or problems with a variety of organ systems and meridians.

That said, patients with chronic insomnia might have different types of chi imbalance or problems with a variety of organ systems and meridians. Therefore, they will suffer from different clinical symptoms and need to be treated appropriately.

Susan is a 40-year-old woman who had trouble falling asleep and often woke up around 2 a.m. It was difficult for her to get back to sleep. However, she also suffered from occasional migraine headaches, pain all over her body, heartburn, and PMS. She complained about her irritable mood and had a chronically bitter taste in her mouth.

According to Chinese medicine, Susan suffered from stagnated liver chi and accumulated heat that affected her heart and liver. After roughly 30 sessions of acupuncture and customized herbal remedies during a three-month period, Susan was finally able to sleep through the night without sleeping pills.

Read more: Say Good-Bye to Insomnia | Traditional Chinese Medicine | Health | Epoch Times


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  1. Neat & Clean post.

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