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Restless Sleep? Can’t settle properly? And not because of a fever or a cold, or because you have small children demanding they keep you company? Or because the air or the room is too hot, or there is too much noise?
These, and similar conditions, are very good reasons for not sleeping restfully, but if those irritations were removed, you would sleep well so they aren’t really reasons for restless sleep.
On this page, we assume no such irritations are bothering you, yet still you have restless sleep. In other words, it’s coming from inside you, not from somewhere else.
Also, we have other pages for the following, so click them instead if they seem more relevant:
If restless sleep can be diagnosed as one of the following syndromes in Chinese medicine, then it can almost certainly be helped by seeing, for instance, an acupuncturist trained in Chinese medicine.
You don’t allow it to work through in time for the next meal, and this creates a traffic jam inside. Like a lot of angry drivers in a traffic jam, tension builds and anger – heat – is expressed.
This ‘heat’ or ‘anger’ prevents restful sleep. You get this in people, often older, whose digestions are growing less flexible, who eat too late at night.
A gentle walk in the open air before bed sometimes ‘settles’ the digestion. Of course, this syndrome can be ameliorated by having good bowel movements, with one of them before bedtime.
All these syndromes are what are called ‘excess‘ conditions. When you are asleep Chinese medicine says your body, your metabolism, should be relatively quiescent. Science tells us that even when in this state, there’s plenty going on, repairing the body and resting it. But, even so, relatively speaking, your body’s output of energy is much less at this time.
Of course, as the link above points out, you naturally alternate between deep and light sleep through the night. But in this ‘restless’ sleep’ condition and its syndromes in Chinese medicine, you can’t really properly enter either, although if you sleep at all, it is likely to be the dreaming, rapid-eye-movement sleep.
That means that if an acupuncturist were treating you for restless sleep, he’d almost certainly be moving or clearing food retention, or easing stagnation of Qi, or clearing Heat or resolving Phlegm.
All those actions help your body to get rid of the blockage or excess that is preventing good sleep. The experience of acupuncturists over several millennia is that these kinds of actions, for very carefully diagnosed syndromes, do improve sleep.
Yes. In fact this is probably more common than just having one syndrome. Diagnosing a mixture of syndromes like this is important because your acupuncturist has to decide where to start treatment to help you get better from restless sleep.
You could also have other syndromes, not mentioned on this page, which upset your health in other areas than sleep.
Some of the other conditions that might be preventing you from sleeping properly are:
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