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TCM for Insomnia

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									Sleeping Well, Make It Easy



             Dr Fei Wang, PhD,
             Acupuncturist
Knowledge about sleep

   It is observed in all mammals, all birds, and
    many reptiles, amphibians, and fish. In
    humans, other mammals, and a substantial
    majority of other animals that have been
    studied (such as some species of fish, birds,
    ants, and fruit flies), regular sleep is essential
    for survival.
Knowledge about sleep

Sleep is divided into two broad types:
 Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM or non-
  REM) sleep, 70-120mins,then
 Rapid Eye Movement (REM),5-15mins.
  REM sleep accounts for 20-25% of total
  sleep time in most human adults.
Age and condition           Average amount of sleep
                            per day
Newborn                     up to 18 hours

1–12 Months                 14-18 hours

1-3 years                   12-15 hours

3-5 years                   11-13 hours

5-12 years                  9-11 hours

Adolescents                 9–10 hours[28]

Adults, including elderly   7–8 (+) hours

Pregnant women              8 (+) hours
There are many everyday reasons for
not sleeping well:


   the bedroom may be too noisy, too hot or too cold
   the bed may be uncomfortable or too small
   you don't have a regular sleep routine
   you partner has a different pattern of sleep from you
   you aren't getting enough exercise
   you eat too late - and find it hard to get off to sleep
   you go to bed hungry - and wake up too early
   cigarettes, alcohol and drinks containing caffeine,
    such as tea and coffee
More serious reasons include:

   emotional problems
   difficulties at work
   anxiety and worry
   depression - you wake very early and
    can't get back to sleep
   thinking over and over about problems.
   illness, pain or a high temperature
Definition


   Insomnia is a sleeping disorder characterised
    by persistent difficulty in falling asleep or
    staying asleep
   It is a symptom, not a stand-alone diagnosis
    or a disease.
   By definition, insomnia is "difficulty initiating
    or maintaining sleep, or both".
Numbers and facts

   It is estimated that a third of people in the UK
    have bouts of insomnia.
   According to the United States Department of
    Health and Human Services in the year 2007,
    approximately 64 million Americans regularly
    suffer from insomnia each year, while its
    population in 2007 was 306 million.
   Interestingly insomnia is 1.4 times more
    common in women than in men.
Traditional Chinese Medicine


   Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

    perspective, insomnia is strongly

    related the Heart and Shen
Three main meridian systems

   There are three main meridian systems which often
    contribute to the disruption of heart and shen
   the liver system can be disrupted by excessive stress and/or anger,
    fatty food, and alcohol

   the spleen system can be disrupted by poor diet, late-night eating and
    excessive worry and over-thinking

   the kidney system can be disrupted by anxiety, fear, overworking, poor
    sleep itself and excessive sexual activity.
What if I don't sleep?


   you are tired all the time
   you drop off during the day
   you find it difficult to concentrate
   you find it hard to make decisions
   you start to feel depressed.
   you more likely to get high blood pressure,
    diabetes and be overweight.
Helping yourself
Do's
   Make sure that your bed and bedroom are comfortable - not too hot, not too cold, not too
    noisy.
   Make sure that your mattress supports you properly. If it's too firm, your hips and shoulders
    are under pressure. If it's too soft, your body sags, which is bad for your back. Generally,
    you should replace your mattress every 10 years to get the best support and comfort.
   Get some exercise. Don't overdo it, but try some regular swimming or walking. The best
    time to exercise is in the daytime - particularly late afternoon or early evening. Later than
    this can disturb your sleep.
   Take some time to relax properly before going to bed. Some people find aromatherapy
    helpful.
   If something is troubling you and there is nothing you can do about it right away, try writing
    it down before going to bed and then tell yourself to deal with it tomorrow.
   If you can't sleep, get up and do something relaxing. Read, watch television or listen to
    quiet music. After a while you should feel tired enough to go to bed again.
   Have more tryptophan rich foods, such as milk,oats, beans,honey,bananas,eggs,
    hazelnuts,peanuts etc.
Don'ts


   Don't go without sleep for a long time - go to bed when you are tired and stick
    to a routine of getting up at the same time every day, whether you still feel tired
    or not.
   Caffeine hangs around in your body for many hours after your last drink of tea
    or coffee. Stop drinking tea or coffee by mid-afternoon. If you want a hot drink
    in the evening, try something milky or herbal (but check there's no caffeine in it).
   Don't drink a lot of alcohol. It may help you fall asleep, but you will almost
    certainly wake up during the night.
   Don't eat or drink a lot late at night. Try to have your supper early in the
    evening rather than late.
   If you've had a bad night, don't sleep in the next day - it will make it harder to
    get off to sleep the following night.
   Don't use slimming tablets - many of these will tend to keep you awake.
   Don't use street drugs like Ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamines - they are
    stimulants, and like caffeine, will tend to keep you awake.
Acupuncture & Chinese medicine

   Both acupuncture and traditional Chinese
    herbal medicine provide natural treatments to
    insomnia, and can be used jointly in most
    cases for the best result.
   It is quite safe and virtually free of side
    effects.
 It has been scientifically demonstrated
  that acupuncture can have an effect on
  the body's central nervous system, and
  can increase levels of several
  neurotransmitters, including serotonin.
 Acupuncture promotes natural sleeping
  patterns, and doesn’t have the
  hangover effect that most sleeping pills
  do.
Other alternatives

   Head or full-body massage
   Reflexology
   Hypnotherapy
   Meditation
   Music therapy
   Aromatherapy

								
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