It is important that you consult your doctor and make him/her aware that you are considering alternative medicine for Insomnia, especially if it is steadily or suddenly increasing in severity.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder generally defined as: Difficulty in going to sleep. ?Difficulty in staying asleep.? Disturbed sleep.? Restless sleep.? Poor quality sleep.
Ideal Sleep situation: Easy to fall asleep – No waking at night – Wakes up refreshed in the morning – 6-8 hours depending on age (less sleep when older).
The importance of Sleep
From a Spiritual perspective in sleep we actually return to the deepest part of us, and rest there, not conscious of being in our most elevated state. It is said, that we return to God/our True Self.
We enter where all is calm and unified, and thus we are deeply nourished, and healing is enabled.
Anything less than this when we sleep, causes sleep problems, as seen above.
During daytime activities we have a great tendency to ‘run from silence’, and engage in very stressful busy activities, chasing our dreams, completely forgetting our innermost Being, our True Self, and therefore we become unhappy, hot, and restless – Insomnia is sure to follow.
Unless we learn how to achieve mindfulness and become peaceful, our sleep will be disturbed.
We must change our values, and value the Love and Peace within each one of us, more than busyness and chaos. We must learn that we are not machines, here only to make money, buy houses, cars and all manner of materials that will never make us happy.
We are all looking for Happiness, and once we find it within ourselves, then we can share it with others, which leads to the Happiness of all.
So whenever we have the chance, we need to nourish ourselves by letting go of our rational, analytic mind and Surrender to the deepest part within us, for that part knows everything and will guide us if we allow it to.
Try to stop over-thinking etc, and meditate i.e. sit quietly, and remind yourself who you really are.
Go deep within yourself, and ask: Who am I?
Be patient, and wait for the answer, and please try again day after day, year after year, until you realise who you are – this is the most worthwhile, as this Realisation, and the Knowledge that comes with it, will give you great strength to deal with any problem, including Insomnia.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the Heart/Spirit/Blood complex represents the mind, mainly due to the fact that healthy Blood is derived from the efficiency of the Organ System, and all other aspects of the bodily functioning, which are ultimately governed by a person’s state of mind.
So if a person has healthy, optimistic and positive thoughts, the body will respond accordingly, producing healthy blood, nourishing every cell in our body.
In TCM the syndromes of Insomnia, are very similar to those of Anxiety and Palpitations.
Nervousness, Anxiety, Worry (obsessions/over-thinking), Depression, Fear, Insecurities, fear of the dark, and the fear of dreaming terrifying dreams.
So train yourself to LET GO – this is a process and won’t happen overnight, however, you will be on track to eventual freedom from fear, if you do begin to let go.
Now we come to the Syndromes that cause the various types of Insomnia
The first three are primarily concerned with HEAT within. N.B. Whenever we emote we create internal heat – excess emotions = excess heat = Irritability eventually likely to progress to Anger and then Rage
1 Insomnia with Anxiety, restlessness, sensations of heat especially in the chest, and face, night sweats, perhaps some palpitations.
The underlying cause here is severe emotional distress, concerning affairs of the Heart, causing dehydration. So drink a pint of water at room temperature before meals. Coconut water and vegetable juices are also very good. Each bodily cell needs to be moistened, and to hydrate on a deeper level, try an Untreated Cold Pressed Organic Oil like Flax or Olive Oil. Take 2 tablespoonfuls per day, morning and afternoon, one and a half hours after breakfast and lunch.
When you have sorted out the above routine, you need to go deeper and find a way to sort out your emotional life.
If you didn’t feel loved when you were young, as this syndrome suggests, then please search for the deep well of love which is hidden within you, which when discovered will bring you peace.
Please don’t give up.
As mentioned above the more emotions we have, the more heat we create, and over a period of time this heat burns up our Body Fluids, which includes our Blood. When this happens, heat within predominates, creating Restlessness and Insomnia, because our Body Fluids are no longer keeping us cool.
2 Insomnia with irritability, restlessness, sensations of heat especially in the head, anger, often a severe headache.
This type is due to either alcoholism, or a severe emotionalstate, which severely affects the Liver.
Hydrate as above, calm down, learn to be patient, and realise that your expectations of others are far too high.
You cannot have everything you want, life isn’t like that.
Appreciate those around you, and give to them the thing that YOU want. This takes great ‘presence of mind’, andisn’t easy, but please practice, and you will eventually become happier and more at peace.
If due to alcohol, STOP IT as fast as you can, by joining (Alcoholics Anonymous), and start doing one simple task per day that helps others, and you will begin to move away from self pity, and you will stop harming yourself.
3 Insomnia with intense worry and mental congestion, halitosis, maybe gastritis with a burning sensation.
Worry or Over Concern, will deplete the digestive tract, causing digestion to slow down, creating stagnation of food in the stomach, heat is then created in the stomach rather like a compost heap, and rises upward creating nausea/burning feeling in the chest, and halitosis (foul smelling breath).
Experiment with your food, to find out which foods suit you best, eat more slowly, do not discuss business or anything whilst you are eating, simply focus on chewing well. Stay emotionally calm whilst eating, and consider taking Enzymes and Acidophilus for 2 weeks.
Avoid spices, and cold food or drink.
The next three are primarily concerned with STAGNATION.
4 Insomnia with sadness and depression, perhaps a sensation of fullness in the chest, and maybe some mental confusion.
Here we have symptoms primarily connected to the Heart.
The Heart is always directly concerned with Love –maybe deprived of love when young, problems with relating to others, unrequited love, and so on.
Here we have phlegm obstructing the Heart Energy lodged in the chest. This also suggests that digestion is also a problem here – worry and over concern about
Mostly the remedies are not easy, but here we must begin to understand that each one of us is full of love deep down, and we need to discover it, and that is our
responsibility and the reason why we are here.
It’s not easy as we all know to turn a negative into a positive. However, with each moment we have an opportunity to give that Love as our gift to all living beings.
Regarding the phlegm, once again experiment with your food, until you find the food that suits you best.
Avoid cold food and drink, as cold will slow down the digestive activity, creating fatigue and phlegm.
5 Insomnia following grief or bereavement, usually much crying.
Usually when a person grieves there are many tears, with a heaving chest. Lung Energy is used up, and this feeling of Deficiency creates Insomnia, as breathing becomes difficult at night especially, as the sun has disappeared and no longer supports the person’s general energy.
There are many Chinese Herbal Formulaes to help this condition, and all conditions concerning Insomnia and all other health problems. Also, when the person feels able, deep breathing in the fresh air will eventually help recovery.
The lungs do not like the cold, so please make sure you hold a scarf over your nose/mouth to warm up the air as it enters, especially if it is a cold day.
6 Insomnia with depression, frustration, suppressed anger, maybe indigestion, maybe muscular tension.
The liver energy, which is the ‘seat of emotions’, has stagnated. The main function of the Liver Energy , is to enable the free flow of Energy throughout the body.
This situation with these symptoms, suggests emotional upheaval, thwarted desires, i.e. not getting what you want. The depression usually accompanies exhaustion, especially if the person has a weak Constitution.
The raving and ranting depletes energy severely.
How could a relaxed and nourishing sleep occur, with such distress.
Here we need to understand that we project our mind-set, which is full of unreasonable desires out into the world, and often we demand that another person fulfils them, which is impossible, absurd and selfish, especially as some desires are insatiable.
When a person is angry, they do not wish to hear of remedies, they are usually determined to spread their unhappiness, and rudely refuse any help – we’ve all been there.
The way out, is to stop, take a deep breath, and learn to give to others the very thing that you want – in other words consider others. This of course is difficult to do, and takes great presence of mind, but as with all healing processes, patterns have to be broken, and doing this will begin to break down those forceful demands that are being made on other people, which is an unfortunate folly.
Of course your digestion will suffer, and your muscles will be tense – these are messages from your body, saying that all is not well.
As I’ve mentioned before in other Articles:
‘True Happiness lies in making others Happy’. Meher Baba
Please practice, and meditate on this – very worthwhile.
The following three are primarily concerned with DEFICIENCY.
7 Insomnia with worry, tiredness, maybe dizziness, palpitations, poor memory, worse with excessive study.
When we worry, Energy goes upwards, becomes very ‘knotted’, initially causing problems in the upper part of the body, followed soon after with problems in the lower part.
With Worry/Over Concern/Pensiveness, the mind is over active – not able to stop thinking. Over a short period of time, because the energy has risen upwards, the lower part becomes Deficient, and bowel problems ensue,
because there isn’t enough Energy to form the stools properly.
The main solution here, is to meditate regularly, calming the mind, and focussing into your ‘Dan Tien/Hara, which is approximately 3 fingers widths below your navel.
Also, get away from the study, housework etc, and walk in the countryside if possible to earth yourself, and look around in wonder, and be ‘present’, without labelling or criticising anything – just let it be.
8 Insomnia with jumpiness, timidity, night terrors, maybe grinding of teeth whilst asleep, perhaps muscular tension.
Here we have a mixed health problem, involving both the Liver energy (the emotions), and the Kidney energy (the Constitution). Negative emotions can stagnate the Liver energy very easily, especially anger and impatience.
Menstrual problems, frontal headaches, frustration are often present. So the remedy here would be to develop patience, eliminate all forms of criticism, and stop
forcing one’s ideas onto others – not easy, but needs to be done to fully recover.
With a deficiency in the Kidney energy, timidity, general fear, sexual problems and fatigue would be prominent, and would imply exhaustion.
Our Constitutional energy, often called Kidney energy, supports our entire system, so we need a tremendous amount of rest, to recover. We need to look after
ourselves by eating, playing and sleeping well, keeping ourselves very warm, especially the lower back, and to realise that there is nothing to fear.
Develop more compassion for ourselves and for others.
9 Insomnia with fear, fright, depression, anxiety or disorientation, maybe headache, stiff neck and shoulders.
This problem relates to both Kidney and Bladder energies.
Do as in 8 above concerning the Kidney energy.
Most likely there will be additional urinary problems e.g. difficulty in urinating. Disorientation, stiff neck and shoulders, and headache, occur due to lack of
energy and blood fully nourishing the brain, as here there isn’t enough Constitutional Energy support travelling up through the spine to feed the brain with Essence, and not enough support for the Heart to pump blood against gravity to the top of the head.
External and Internal Forces
There are External and Internal causes that disturb sleep, which need to be addressed to ensure that Insomnia does actually exist, and are not included in the above Syndromes.
1 Awakened by children.
2 Awakened easily by Light – usually suggests an Emotional Problem, and is related to the Liver/Gall Bladder energy,
which is the ‘Seat of the Emotions”.
3 Awakened easily by Noise – usually suggests a Digestive
problem, and is related to the Spleen/Pancreas.
4 Uncomfortable bed.
5 Use of Electronic devices before going to sleep.
The Blue light from Kindles, ipads, Mobiles, stops the
production of Melatonin – created in darkness by the body
enabling sleep – this is why we tend to sleep more in the
Winter when it’s darker.
2 Excess Urination – implies a weakness of Kidney energy.
3 Addiction problems.
5 Applying medication at night e.g. Dry Eyes needing drops.