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Western Diagnosis

Insomnia can be classified into several different categories including: difficulty falling asleep (including the inability to fall asleep quickly), staying asleep, awakening shortly after falling asleep and being unable to go back to sleep, not sleeping soundly or the inability to sleep at all.

Insomnia can result from a number of different causes such as overconsumption of caffeine, depression (and/or the use of antidepressants), indigestion, muscle aches, menopausal disorders, stress, anxiety and the use of certain drugs.

Occasional insomnia affects most of the population, however when frequent, prolonged insomnia is present, the lack of sleep can effect brain function.

Eastern Diagnosis

Traditional Chinese Medicine classifies insomnia into one of three main categories. Injury due to emotional excesses can cause insomnia when extreme emotion such as anger or stress causes liver qi to stagnate and transform into fire. The fire invade the heart shen and causes mental unrest and sleeplessness.

An improper diet can also be the reason for insomnia. Overconsumption of greasy or sweet foods can result in fluid retention and phlegm in the stomach, causing stomach qi to malfunction and insomnia to result.

Another sleep disturbance is senility or blood qi deficiency of the heart. Palpation and insomnia are seen as the result of exhaustion of liver and kidney essence. If vital essence is prevented from replenishing the heart, breakdown of the normal physiological coordination between the heart and the kidneys can occur. These conditions may also result in excess heart fire or blood qi deficiency in the heart and gallbladder.


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The information provided on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Should you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering any natural remedy.

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