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I can’t get no sleep. How to fall asleep naturally!

Struggling to fall asleep?

Or is your problem struggling to stay asleep?

Are you feeling constantly tired and sleep deprived?

Insomnia is reported to occur in 30-50% of the population in any one year, and is more common amongst the elderly and in women. Some causes of short-term insomnia can be: anxiety, stress, stimulants like coffee or loud noises, alcohol, some medications and many others.

Insomnia according to Chinese medicine

In Chinese medicine sleeping problems are not seen as a disease, but a symptom. Primarily sleep issues or insomnia manifests from the heart channel where the spirit resides, this then affects other organs. At night the heart needs to be calm and housed deep within so that you stay asleep, otherwise you wake throughout the night, or are disturbed by your thoughts.

Simple tips to help

  • Start settling the body from 8pm onwards, and turn electronic devices off.

  • Avoid eating any foods after 7pm. If you must eat, foods that promote sleep such as bananas, honey, milk, almonds or chamomile tea.

  • Avoid tea, coffee and other caffeinated drinks before bed.

  • Cut down on smoking and drinking.

  • Keep the same bed routine. Try to fall asleep by 11pm, and then up get up at the same time every morning regardless of how much sleep you have had.

  • Don’t nap during the day.

  • Soak your feet and legs (mid calf) in warm water one hour before bed for 20 mins, and put a drop of lavender oil to assist you in calming down. It helps to bring any heat for the upper body down to the legs and feet.

  • If your mind wanders, try keeping a journal, write down what’s been bothering you and what you are grateful for.

  • Do your exercise earlier in the day, and if you are still stressed in the afternoon/ evenings go for a walk.

  • Listen to some calming music or a meditation.

  • Avoid ‘judging’ your sleep on a day-to-day basis.

Come and see me to discuss how Chinese medicine may be able to assist with your sleep issues.

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