Chinese Medicine and Sleep: Natural Approaches to Improving Sleep Quality
Sleep is inextricably linked to the health of body and mind. For centuries, many cultures have relied on Chinese medicine to address sleep disturbances. According to the Alternative Medicine Guide, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) offers natural solutions to combat insomnia and ensure a restful night’s sleep.
TCM prescribes a variety of herbal remedies that may help to improve sleep quality. Commonly used herbs include:
- Schisandra: This herb calms the nervous system and improves sleep quality.
- Ashwagandha: Considered a “rasayana” or a restorative herb in TCM, ashwagandha strengthens the body and improves neurological functioning.
- Jujube: Jujube is an adaptogenic herb that helps to improve mood and reduce stress.
In addition to herbs, TCM practitioners may recommend dietary changes to support improved sleep. These may include avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol and replacing them with decaffeinated drinks like tea and herbal remedies. Eating light dinners is also recommended, and food items that may help promote sleep include:
- Oatmeal: Oats contain melatonin, serotonin, vitamins and minerals.
- Cherries: Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, the hormone responsible for the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
- Bananas: Bananas contain magnesium and potassium, which induce muscle relaxation.
Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupressure and acupuncture are non-invasive treatments used to relieve stress, improve well-being and promote a restful night’s sleep. Depending on the individual’s diagnosis and symptoms, both can be used to balance the body’s energy and increase relaxation.
With the help of Chinese medicine, people can improve their overall well-being and address sleep disturbances. With a focus on natural remedies such as herbs, dietary changes and acupuncture, TCM can provide holistic solutions to improve sleep quality and help the body return to its natural equilibrium.