It seems as though many of my patients right now are complaining of problems sleeping, whether it’s falling asleep or staying asleep. Here’s advice on some of the things that I’ve researched and found out for myself that work from the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.
It’s always important to keep your root warm. That means you need to keep your feet warm and covered. Don’t wear sandals or shorts in colder weather. Chinese medicine says that if you have problems with the top of the body, you treat the bottom of the body, or the feet, to bring the energy down.
One excellent way to do this is to soak your feet in a small bucket before bed. If you’re feeling cold, to help you warm up from the inside. Use ginger, sliced and slightly cooked, in hot water to soak your feet. If you’re feeling stressed, use chrysanthemum flowers in the water. Try to soak for about 15 minutes, adding more hot water to the bucket as it cools. It is a great time to try to do a little bit of meditation or sitting Qi Gong.
Recommendations are to exercise before you go to bed. It’s important to sweat a little and let the heat out. Excessive heat interferes with sleep.
A strenuous yoga routine or lifting weights before bed to relax muscles is a great way to promote sleep. Qi Gong is also recommended. Take a hot shower or a hot bath before bed.
It’s important to have a good sleep schedule and try to be in bed before 11:00 PM. The liver, which is very influential to sleep, is the most nourished during the hours between 11:00 PM and 1:00 AM, so it is important to be in bed by that time.
Refrain from caffeine in the afternoon or later. Drink herbal teas later in the day, as well. It’s essential to eat more food in the morning and noon hours and less food later in the evening. Avoid stimulants like stimulating movies or TV after 8:00 PM.
Chinese Herbs and Patents
There are various Chinese patents to give you a more restful sleep, especially after jet lag.
One is called “Peaceful Sleep Tincture”. Also, “Suan Zao Ren” is a formula for sleep if you have a hard time falling asleep. If you feel more agitated before bed, a patent formula called “Free and Easy Wanderer” can help the liver calm down. Chinese red dates and Jujubes (organic) are also beneficial to calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation. To prepare, boil and then simmer in water for 15 minutes and drink the tea at night. These are also very helpful for anxiety in general.
Acupressure points on the neck called the “Anmian Point”, and Heart #7 (H7) on the wrist can help you relax. Give yourself a gentle acupressure massage on these points at bedtime.
Hopefully, these ideas can help you get a better night’s sleep.