(In)somnambulism – or why we can't sleep

Nejčastější důvody nespavosti podle TCM

Why it is so difficult to fall asleep... Surely everyone has experienced this. However, some of us have a sleeping problem every night. I don't want to be pessimistic, but when somebody goes for a sleep-walk month after month ... it gets tough.

Why can't you sleep?

The reasons for insomnia are varied - below we will try to explain the twelve main causes based on the thousands of years of experience of traditional Chinese medicine.

First of all, we can divide the reasons of insomnia into two basic directions - whether we can fall asleep due to a state of insufficiency or excess. If we had to use comprehensible car-based examples for better understanding, we would say that excess is similar to the state of an overheated engine after a long journey by car (instead of quiet parking in the garage our car is so hot we could fry eggs on the hood). In the evening, it then takes a long time for it to run down and cool down. On the other hand, in the case of insufficiency, the engine hasn't enough oil or water and easily overheats even with little effort (sometimes it is even “jammed”).

Specifically, in the case of insomnia due to insufficiency it is most often the lack of blood in the Heart and Spleen, or lack of the Liver, Kidney and Heart Yin, or communication between the Heart and Kidney is insufficient (they are not connected).

In the case of insomnia due to excess, the Liver and the Heart fire burns in us, or the food stagnates, the blood in the Heart is blocked, or Mucus stagnates, or hot toxin is too nestled in us.

However, we often find ourselves in the opposite situation, where we would like to fall asleep but our bedfellow snores like a chainsaw. From the point of view of Traditional Chinese Medicine, day to day (night after night) snoring is mostly caused by stagnant Mucus in the Stomach, which is rising upwards (naturally it should move down). The only prevention, however, may not only be earplugs, but even in your room your can feel like in the Canopy chamber and easily Restore the burnt land.

The most common reasons for insomnia

If we were to discuss the most common reasons for insomnia (according to TCM), their descending order is as follows: 

  1.     Fire in the Liver can be manifested as restless sleep, nightmares, feeling of irritability or anger, bitter taste in the mouth, headache, dizziness, or darker urine, often thirst perception and dry stools (up to constipation). However, even when we feel bitter, sleep can be so sweet.
  2.     In the case of Fire in the Heart we often wake up during our sleep, again have nightmares (often they are “spiced” with flying during a dream), we experience mental agitation often and especially in the morning we feel bitter taste and thirst. How to overcome such a fiery gorge?
  3.     If the Qi energy stagnates in the Liver, then we have dreams full of fear and anger, there is pain in the lower ribs and around the stomach, we feel inflated, we are moody and/or depressed. Women then experience severe premenstrual syndrome and feel breast tension. How to be in harmony with your own body and to change themselves?
  4.     When the Kidneys and Heart do not communicate with each other, not only do we fall asleep badly, but we often wake up at night (thus getting into a vicious - “wakening” - circle). Our throat is completely dry, heart races and memories fade. We are also easy to scare, twitch ourselves even in the dream, have whistles in the ears and pain in the back. In such trouble, even the Emperor would need a heavenly elixir.
  5.     If we do not have sufficient Liver Yin, we wake up and fall asleep very often, we talk in sleep, but in more serious cases we can inadvertently go out of bed “for a (sleep) walk”. We experience dizziness, feelings of dryness in the throat, we see out of focus (or our eyes even hurt), we have dry skin and hair. How then to experience the Joy of coming sleep?
  6.     When hot Mucus disturbs the Spirit, we often startle and toss and turn in our sleep. Unpleasant dreams turn into nightmares. We snore heavily (and we feel heaviness in the body). We are sick to our stomach and we have no appetite. Heart is racing, mucus is in our throat and we have a sticky feeling in the mouth. Which room should we begin to restore?
  7.     In the case of insufficient Kidney and Liver Yin we sleep a lot and we can talk and walk (sleepwalking) from sleep. We are irritated, see out of focus, hear whistles in the ears, pain in our lower back and we sweat at night. If only we could draw freshness from the evening pagoda.
  8.     If the Gallbladder and the Heart are insufficient, we usually wake up early in the morning (around four o'clock) and we are not be able to fall asleep again. During the night we sleep only superficially and one dream is changed by other. We are often shy, fearful, timid and indecisive. Our heart races and excessive fatigue can grow into depression. We feel shortbreathing. How to catch the second breath?
  9.     If the blood in the Heart and Spleen is insufficient, we can hardly fall asleep again, we have no appetite and our heart is beating. We are pale and also have anxiety, dizziness and blurred vision. Where to find harmony? Perhaps in the peach grove ...
  10.   If the Qi energy stagnates in the Heart, then we cannot sleep in any (in)conceivable way. Most often, however, our heart pounds unnaturally, we feel pressure on our chest and a dumpling in the throat. We cannot “breathe in” and we yawn madly. We have no appetite, the limbs are cold and limp (tired) and the lips have a mauve tinge.
  11.   If blood is blocked in the Heart, we often wake up at night after a sudden startle. Our heart pounds, and we toss and turn in the bed. Our chest hurts and our soul is agitated, anxious and scared. How to strengthen the hollowed-out coast of our health?
  12.   If the hot toxin persists – for example after a feverish illness – then mental restless pull us out of sleep. We cannot sit still – and it is impossible to lie quietly. We feel (over)pressure in our chest, our stomach badly digests and we have heartburn. It does not have to be so “hot” however – behind the brocade veil, the Birth of the Phoenix is coming.

Why can't you sleep? What are the most common reasons for insomnia and how can you influence them yourself? Let yourself quality sleep.

What are the most common reasons for insomnia? Why can't we sleep? Look at twelve reasons according to traditional Chinese medicine, focus on them and have well-deserved sleep.

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