Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, frequently waking through the night, and not feeling refreshed upon waking in the morning.  Conventionally, Chronic Insomnia is the condition where insomnia symptoms have occurred for an extended period of time. Acute insomnia is defined as short-term insomnia.  Some medications associated with insomnia include Ambien, Eszopiclone, Rozerem, Zalepton, Benzodiazepine, Anti Depression, and over-the-counter sleeping aids.

In Chinese Medicine, there are 3 different types of Insomnia, thus, there are 3 different ways of treating insomnia.  In Chinese Medicine insomnia is associated with organ imbalances particularly, in the heart, liver, and kidneys.

Insomnia associated with a heart imbalance is often accompanied by symptoms of excessive anxiety, overthinking, emotional sensitivity, depression, worry, becoming easily frightened, physical and mental tiredness, becoming easily stressed, digestive issues, IBS, cold extremities, or pale skin.  Generally, people that have insomnia due to heart imbalance tend to have a hard time falling asleep and tend to sleep very light due to excessive thinking and worrying.  They do not wake up feeling rested and need longer hours of sleep.

Insomnia associated with a liver imbalance is often accompanied by symptoms of excessive stress, becoming easily angry, irritability, depression, digestive issues, heartburn, acid reflux, and IBS.  People with insomnia associated with a liver issue tend to wake up abruptly between 2 am and 4 am.

Insomnia associated with an imbalance in the kidney is often accompanied by symptoms of excessive waking up to urinate, lower back pain, feeling cold systemically, excessive fear, anxiety, depression, and fatigue both physically and mentally.

Based on Chinese Medicine, insomnia is treated based on specific pattern differentiation.  Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine are both used to treat organ dysfunction and imbalances. Lifestyle is also strongly recommended for all types of insomnia, particularly for those with insomnia due to excessive stress that affects their liver function.

Please, seek help if you know you have sleep issues.  Sleep is very important for the healing processes of our physiology.  If you don’t sleep well, your body never has ample opportunity to renew itself, thus, potentially leading to many other health complications down the road such as chronic fatigue, depression, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, etc.