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How TCM Can Help With Your Sleepless Nights


Are you suffering from Insomnia? We all know that sleep is important for the body’s organs to function well. When sleep is affected, one’s quality of life is affected as well. Some of the negative impacts include psychologically and physiologically, compromised immunity system, memory loss, inattention, slow response, depression, bipolar disorder, aging and so on.

Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder that affects many people, with the most common symptom being unable to fall asleep at night. However, there are other less known symptoms such as waking up early in the morning and being unable to fall back asleep that many may not know about. Hence, it is important to be able to understand and identify the symptoms of Insomnia and have it treated as soon as possible to reduce the negative impact it has on one’s overall well-being.

You may be suffering from Insomnia if you experience any of the following:

  1. Sleep quality is bad
  2. Sufficient sleep time, but feel life is affected, e.g. disorder in social, occupation, education, behaviour and etc.
  3. Excluded other internal and external factors, such as nasal and oral structure problems.

TCM on Insomnia

TCM believes that the human body is part of nature, thus should follow the laws of nature. The laws of nature refers to working during sunrise and resting when sun sets. Our regular sleep pattern should follow the rising and setting of sun and in the case of Insomnia, it will break this natural law since one’s sleep is disrupted during the regular sleeping hours.

In the aspect of Yin and Yang, TCM emphasises on the balance of both forces for one to be healthy. When both forces are not balanced, illness will occur and in the case of Insomnia, the forces are not balanced since there is yin deficiency which results in overpowering yang force. Insomnia patients can be categorised into two broad types as follow:

  1. Excessive Yang

Due to the hectic lifestyle of adults, nerves remain tense even till late at night. In addition, many have the habit of watching exciting TV series or horror movies, eating supper or working out vigorously before going to bed which will stimulate the Yang, contrary to the law of nature. Those who fall under this category of Insomnia will usually feel more irritable or experience dizziness, headache or facial flushing as common symptoms.

  1. Yin Deficient

The second type of Insomnia patients are those who are Yin deficient which causes excessive Yang. This is common in people who are skinny or weak. They are usually energetic but this burst of energy usually do not last, and they will be more prone to shortness of breath and feel flustered easily. Children and menopausal women can also fall under this category of Insomnia sufferers; children are energetic and full of Yang force and menopausal women are usually Yin deficient due to the natural aging of organs and deficiency of hormones.


Depending on the cause, symptoms, duration and body constitution diagnosed by the TCM practitioner, the following combination of methods can be used to treat insomnia.

TCM medication
Acupressure massage
According to TCM principles, problems such as waking up between 1am to 3am, frequent fearful awakening, timidity, irritability and sighing are associated with disorders in the liver and/or gallbladder. Personalized TCM treatment to balance the yin and yang of the body will be recommended accordingly.

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