Somewhere between 35-50% of the adult population suffers from some form of insomnia. They need better sleep. Researchers have identified a variety of causes. And people living the modern lifestyle have seen the causes increase. Caffeine is a well-known culprit, and studies have even shown that cell phones exacerbate the problem. Even purifying your body of cocaine can cause insomnia. And 10% of adults have restless leg syndrome which can often causes insomnia symptoms. The important thing to note for those suffering from symptoms of insomnia is to know you are not alone.
Need a Better Sleep?
And there are ways to deal with insomnia. WebMD recommends avoiding over the counter sleeping pills. They say the pills cause undesirable side effects and quickly lose their ability to help you fall asleep after repeat usage. They do recommend visiting a doctor and trying his prescription drugs, but their primary advice is to seek other forms of handling your sleep. WebMD also says that your doctor may send you to a sleep center if they cannot identify any underlying medical conditions.
WebMD mentions behavioural therapy, but they say nothing about addressing the underlying causes of poor behaviour. Well, one treatment has been shown through clinical trials to help cure insomnia, acupuncture. Once laughed at as witch-doctor medicine, acupuncture is standing its ground with mechanistic medicine. Why? Because it addresses any imbalances within the human biological system.
And the best part is that you can do much of this yourself. Before you start trying to cure your insomnia with acupuncture, first you need to diagnose what is causing it. The wheel below is the Chinese medicine clock which designates 2 hours to each of the body’s systems.
Problems Falling Asleep?
Between 11pm and 1am, your gall bladder is at its strongest. If these are the hours of the day that you dread the most because you know you will be awake with no explanation why, you can relax now. Most likely your gall bladder problems are stress induced. While you may not be able to do much about the situation causing your stress, you can control your reaction to it. Reject your stress by controlling your body’s reaction to it.
The Gall Bladder channel runs to the sides of your head. So, try rubbing them, the whole side not just your temples. Just keep rubbing them until your stress subsides. Especially work on the area above and behind your ears. Focus on the massage as you do it, and you will begin to calm down. Then give this acupuncture technique a try, Gall Bladder 34.
If you have tried going to bed earlier to no effect, then you may have a combination of issues. If your system just will not let you fall asleep before 11pm, you may have issues in your ear, nose, and throat area. Try this acupuncture technique, Triple Heater 17, before 11pm. You might get right to sleep and then wake up between 11pm and 1am. If so, follow the advice above.
However, sometimes stress is not at the root of your difficulties falling asleep. In that case, rubbing your head may not do much. Sometimes it might be a larger anxiety over everything rather than stress over specific situations. Most likely, your heart qi is out of its balance.
Prayer or another type of meditation (yoga, tai chi, or qigong) is the best way to deal with this level of anxiety. Turn off all your devices at least an hour before your bedtime. You should also turn off any LED lights. Then read an enjoyable book, nothing too deep or technical. You need to focus on calming your whole system. Then try this acupuncture technique—Heart 4,5,6, and 7—which is very good at bringing your system into balance with your heart.
Problems Staying Asleep?
So, if you have a tendency to wake up at an uncomfortable 2am and need a better sleep, you may have problems with your liver. If so, you should start by squeezing half a lemon into a cup of warm water and drinking it first thing in the morning. You should be getting 30-60 minutes of exercise every day, and you might try 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar once or twice a day. Then, try this acupuncture technique, Gall Bladder 34, to help you sleep past 3am. That’s right. Gall Bladder 34 also helps with your liver.
If, instead, you are waking up between 3am and 5am, your lungs may be part of the problem. Part of the issue may actually be dryness either due to your local climate, or you may be speaking too much throughout the day for your lungs to naturally rejuvenate themselves. Try eating more apples and pears which help to rehydrate your system. You might even sleep with a glass of apple juice or pear juice on your night stand. Drink it if you wake up, and you will likely fall back to sleep until your preferred wake up time. And, be sure you try Lung 7 to help your body unwind and sleep through the night.
Need Something More Holistic?
Sometimes, you may have difficulty even identifying when you usually wake during the night or what time you usually fall asleep. You may just have a generally pervasive issue with sleep and just need better sleep. If that is the case, you can try a more generalized acupuncture technique that you can use as a bedtime routine.
Start at the end of your feet and slowly work your way up to the tip of your head. Much of the focus here is balancing your mental and spiritual state with your physical needs. Just remember that this routine should actually feel good. Five pounds of pressure should be the maximum amount that you apply.
Start by rubbing the area between your right or left foot and your toes, the area just above the webbing of your toes. You want to apply the full 5 pounds here to get deep down. Rub the areas of each foot for about 4 to 5 seconds. Then repeat the process 3 to 5 times.
Next, rub the center of your heel under your foot in a circular motion. You want to rub each foot for 1 to 2 minutes.
Then start rubbing your wrists in three sections. Put one finger on the right side of you wrist right where the wrist meets the hand. On your right hand, this will be just below the start of your thumb. Put another finger on the opposite side where your hand meets your wrist. Then create a triangle where the third point is just a little way up your arm. Massage these points for about 30 to 60 seconds for each wrist. Then repeat 3 to 5 times.
Now, try your head. Put your had at the front of your head where you hairline starts (or if you are like me, where it used to be). Begin to comb your hair until you get to the very top of your scalp. Stop for a moment to massage the very top of your head before finishing the combing of your head. Repeat that 5 times or more depending on your own impression of your needs.
Then do a similar routine with both hands starting on the sides of your head at your temples. Be sure to pay close attention to any muscles that feel especially tense. Next, try the area between your eyebrows. Use your middle finger and your index finger to rub the area.
With both hands, start at the center of your eyebrows and push them toward each other. Then gently move them back the other way. Try this back and forth a few times.
Massage the soft tissue in your temples in circles for 1 to 2 minutes. Also, massage your cheek, right at the corner of your jaw, for another 1 to 2 minutes in circular motions. Finally, feel your earlobes and move your fingers toward the back of your head until you locate where the neck muscles meet the hard bits of your skull. You should feel a soft area just below the bone. Again, rub circles into this area for another 1 to 2 minutes.
By the time you finish this routine, you should be ready to go to bed. If you have problems afterward, try the advice above. If you are having continued issues, you need to remember that your body is a complex system. If anything gets out of balance, it will throw other areas out of balance too.
So you may have to persevere through a transitionary period while your body finds its balance. Have you ever seen an astronaut train on a aerotrim? Imagine your system as stuck in a very fast and chaotic aerotrim, and you are trying to balance it. It might take a little time, but you will find peace faster than if you did nothing and even faster than if you used medication.
Still Need More Ideas?
Your body can be out of balance due to any number and combination of smaller imbalances. So, you need to keep a few things in mind when trying to handle your symptoms of insomnia.
You need to avoid screens of any kind at least an hour before you go to bed. Not only will this reduce the radiation you expose your eyes too, it will also help to calm your fear of missing out (FOMO). The one exception for this is meditation apps. Meditation will help you calm down, and if you think your app will help you do that better than a CD or other tool, try the meditation app. Just don’t look at anything else on your phone. Turn everything else off.
We hear about the benefits of water all the time, and yet many of us still need to drink more of it. Aside from all of its other benefits, water can also help with insomnia.
Magnesium actually helps your body relax. Sleeping pills affect your brain chemistry which only throws your body off balance even more. So, they are easy to become addicted to. Magnesium on the other hand is natural at helping your muscles relax and helping ease feelings of depression. So magnesium will help with insomnia from 2 fronts.
Valerian is often recommended for insomnia and other sleep disorders. The mechanistic medicine establishment says that its efficacy is inconclusive. That means that it might work, but it might not. In other words, give it a try.
At least one study has suggested that sleeping in a nice smelling room can help you sleep better than sleeping in a room with no distinct scents. Specifically, the study suggests you try a bit of jasmine on each wrist. Try dapping lavender oil on your pillow to help you relax while you lie down. Try bathing with aromatic oils. Add 5 drops lavender oil and 3 drops ylang-ylang oil to your bath. Then just lie down in the bath and clear your mind.
You can’t force yourself to sleep, but you can force yourself to adhere to a schedule. Set down what you need to do each day on a schedule. Then follow that schedule religiously.
Yes! Make one of your scheduled things meditation whether you prefer prayer, yoga, qi-gong, general mindfulness or whatever style. Just meditate.
Are You Nuts?
Probably, but walnuts do have sleep inducing properties. Whether you want to eat them before bed or you want to blend them and drink them. Walnuts can provide a little extra nudge to help you sleep.
Protein Before Bed
Protein can help you boost your metabolism while you sleep. Likewise, it can help your body balance itself. It is certainly worth trying.
Sometimes no matter what someone tries, they never seem to find a functional sleep pattern. Studies have suggested that sleep disorders are accompanied by mental disorders. Whether that describes you or not, you need to accept yourself for who you are. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it. Just be yourself even if being yourself means that you don’t follow a typical sleep pattern. Learn to follow your own sleep pattern and use it to your advantage. If this is you, give yourself permission to not sleep if your body doesn’t want to.