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The Ancient Chinese Secret to Better Sleep


 

Anyone who suffers from insomnia or difficulty sleeping knows the true meaning of exhaustion. Feeling tired but being unable to sleep can be one of the most off-putting feelings anyone can experience. You lay down, and your body is tired, but your mind is racing; you can’t seem to quiet your mind to fall into a restful sleep.

Does this sound familiar to you?

The good news is there is a well-kept ancient Chinese secret to getting better sleep, thanks to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) (1, 2).

In this article, we will describe these well-kept secrets to sleeping better, and tell you about a way to easily gain access to these herbs in the West.

But, first, a little background. 

What Causes Problems with Sleeping?

Problems falling asleep can be caused by a range of issues. In rare cases, your sleep issues can be diagnosed as insomnia, but usually, the inability to fall asleep has other causes. Some of the most common causes of sleep disorders are life stresses, like job loss or change, the loss of a loved one, or disagreements with people you care about. Others include light or noise in your sleeping environment, or illness (3).

In serious cases of sleep issues, you may be diagnosed with insomnia. Insomnia may be caused by environmental or psychological factors, but just as often insomnia is linked to other medical conditions. Some of these medical conditions include allergies, acid reflux, arthritis, neurological conditions, and chronic pain (4). In many of these cases, the problems with sleep may have to be addressed together with the root cause of your lack of sleep.

How Are Sleep Problems Normally Treated?

If you visit a doctor trained in western medicine (like most doctors’ offices in the US and Europe), they may first suggest a series of lifestyle changes that could help you get better sleep, like:

  • Reducing exposure to bright light during the day from computer, TV, and cellphone screens.
  • Avoiding drinking coffee or caffeinated tea later in the day.
  • Reducing daytime naps.
  • Taking measures to reduce stress in the evenings.

If lifestyle changes aren’t effective, doctors may suggest melatonin supplements. Melatonin is a hormone that the body usually produces naturally to calm the mind and help to promote a healthy sleep cycle (5). In some people with insomnia, melatonin production is interrupted, so supplements with artificial melatonin can help people sleep.

If neither lifestyle changes nor supplements help to promote sleep, some doctors will prescribe pharmaceutical sleeping pills.

Some pharmaceutical sleeping pills will help to fall asleep, but they may have contradictory results that don’t allow you to feel refreshed at all. They can travel from your blood into your brain and cause some unwanted side effects. Some side effects artificial sleep aids can cause include memory loss, drowsiness, body aches, headaches, and more. These sound a lot like the side effects of not getting enough sleep – you don’t wake up feeling refreshed (6). 

How is Traditional Chinese Medicine Different?

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been widely applied in Asia from ancient times until now (1). TCM is natural, safe, effective, and endorsed by the UN World Health Organization’s Traditional Medicine Strategy: 2014-2023 (2). In that sense, the wonders of TCM have really only been a secret in the Western world, where TCM is not commonly followed.

One of the most common criticisms of Western medicine by people who practice Eastern medicine is that, more often than not, Western medicine doesn’t treat the root cause of the problem. Simply speaking, TCM understands all health problems as a lack of balance in the body’s chi (also spelled qi in pinyin, meaning energy). The goal of TCM is to reestablish balance in the body’s systems, and with that, healthfulness will follow (1).

TCM understands that everything in the universe, including human cells and organs, can be attributed to five elements: wood, fire, earth, water, and metal. The qualities of wood apply to the liver, the qualities of fire apply to the heart, the qualities of earth apply to the pancreas, the qualities of metal apply to the lung, and the qualities of water apply to the kidney (7).

How Does TCM Understand Insomnia?

From the point of view of TCM, insomnia is directly related to the liver chi or energy. Liver chi is stagnated and transforms into fire, and it results in a deficiency in both the heart, spleen, and gallbladder (8). The result is insomnia, headaches, frequent awakening, fatigue, difficulty breathing, night sweats, irritability, and many other unpleasant symptoms.

To treat the root cause of the problem, TCM specialists may determine that herbs are the best way to reestablish balance in the body and promote healthy sleep. Each of these herbs will affect the organs mentioned above to move the blood where it is stagnated and to remove excess heat that is disrupting sleep.

What are the TCM herbs that can help to promote healthy sleep? Read on.

The Traditional Chinese Herbs that Help to Promote Sleep

These herbs are not commonly known in the west, but in Asia, where TCM is common practice, the use of these herbs for treating sleep problems is well known.

  • Zizyphus
    Zizyphus helps to remove excessive cold, heat, and evil binding to the qi (energy source). Helps to nourish the heart and tranquilize the mind, and helps to prolong sleep (9, 10).
  • Poria Spirit
    The herb known as Poria Spirit strengthens the spleen and calms the spirit. Promotes sleep while also acting as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant herb (11, 12).
  • Biota Seed
    The biota seed nourishes the heart and calms the mind while acting as a sedative (13).
  • Lovage Root
    This herb protects the brain, regulates qi, nourishes the blood, and controls headaches and other pain (14, 15).

 

 

  • Silk Tree Bark
    Also known as mimosa, it calms the spirit and relieves constraint while regulating the qi. Helps to shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and helps you sleep for longer (16, 17).

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      • Fleeceflower Caulis
        Fleeceflower Caulis restores and balances liver blood as tin and essence, and used to help treat insomnia (18, 19).
          • Polygala Root
            This herb is heart nourishing and helps to clear up breathing (20).
          • Anemarrhena Rhizome
            Clears toxic heat, nourishes yin, and moistens dryness. Helps to calm sleep disturbances (21, 22).

          Conclusion: How Can You Get These Herbs in One Place?

          Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that the lack of health results from a lack of balance in our body, mind, and spirit. There is one capsule that contains all of the TCM herbs mentioned above to help tackle the root cause of sleep issues in your energy balance. Balance Blends’ Quiet Please capsules contain these eight TCM herbs and more. Balance Blend has named these extrapolents, which are multiple concentrated and blended extracts that have been used for centuries to restore balance in the body.

          The Quiet Please capsules will not disappoint. They help to naturally reestablish healthy sleep rhythms without the unpleasant side effects that pharmaceuticals may cause.

          Are you ready to finally get some sleep again?

           

          Sources: 

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4826698/
          https://www.who.int/westernpacific/health-topics/traditional-complementary-and-integrative-medicine
          https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/12114-causes-of-sleep-problems
          https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/what-causes-insomnia
          https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/melatonin-and-sleep
          https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/what-causes-insomnia
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5741387/
          https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/735078/tab2/
          http://www.itmonline.org/arts/zizyphus.htm
          https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874101003488
          http://www.itmonline.org/articles/materia_medica_total.htm
          https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-0030-1270823#N72740
          http://www.itmonline.org/arts/hrbbrain.htm
          http://www.itmonline.org/arts/ligustrazine.htm
          http://www.itmonline.org/articles/materia_medica_total.htm
          https://www.jadeinstitute.com/jade/herbal-detail-page.php?show=78&order=chinese_name
          http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-SZGY200809094.htm
          http://www.itmonline.org/arts/hoshouwu.htm
          https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2011/236341/abs/
          http://www.itmonline.org/arts/platygly.htm
          http://www.shen-nong.com/eng/herbal/zhimu.html
          https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1876382011001387

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