Chinese medicine has evolved over thousands of years to help people with sleep issues. As modern lifestyles have changed Chinese medicine has adapted to include insights from modern research into sleep issues. The Chinese medicine sleep solution is an integrated all natural approach to helping restore your sleep. Here are nine keys of the Chinese medicine sleep solution.
9 keys for deeper sleep
1. Understand that all our activities: nutrition, exercise, work, and even thinking, have a profound impact on our sleep. Take on each aspect of our lives with the goal of achieving total wellness in each area. The main goal here is balancing our stress hormones, by balancing our lives.
2. Hydrate well and eat less sugar. Quit coffee, energy drinks and refined sugar and use honey sparingly. My go to coffee substitute is matcha green tea. To learn more about matcha click here. My go to sweetener is stevia, because it does not spike blood sugar. Spiking blood sugar with sweets wreaks havoc on your adrenal glands and stress hormones and disturbs your sleep.
(For instance if you eat sugar after dinner, or drink too much alcohol, or eat too much fruit, your blood sugar will spike. When blood sugar rises, our bodies release insulin. Insulin is called: “The Fat Storage Hormone.” As insulin clears the sugar from our bloodstreams, and stores it as fat, our blood sugar drops. As our blood sugar drops, our bodies create adrenaline. Adrenaline will spike while we are sleeping and wake us up. So if you have a late night snack, eat something like cashews, or almonds so as to not spike your blood sugar.)
3. Balance your eating patterns so that you have 3 meals a day with adequate protein and snack in between them on seeds and nuts, kale chips, or berries. Use fruit sparingly in the evening, if at all.
4. Get your daily exercise. Activities like walking, swimming, qigong, tai chi or working out at the gym, will burn off stress hormones, increase endorphins and lead to a deeper night’s sleep. If you are having sleep issues, do exercise in the morning.
5. Think long term. In other words, the natural approach to sleep is not about taking a pill and then sleeping better. It is a lifestyle that creates the habits that restore deep sleep.
6. Have a ritual. About an hour before bed, begin your preparation for sleep. Take a warm bath with aromatherapy (lavender is good for sleep) and Epsom salts. Put on your most comfortable pajamas. Don’t use electronics for at least an hour before bed. Read only spiritually uplifting things.
7. Address your bedding: If you have an uncomfortable pillow, buy a new one that works. Use comfortable clean sheets and get your bedding right so that your temperature during sleep is comfortable. A poor night’s sleep is often due to getting too hot under a down comforter. If your mattress is very old or not supportive, get a new one.
8. Try Acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Chinese medicine can work wonders for sleep, much better than just taking melatonin or valerian, though those can help. Seek out a qualified acupuncturist and go through a series of treatments to help restore a full night’s sleep. If you would like a free consultation with me about your sleep, simply call: (828) 254-4405.
9. Say no to stress. Use times that you awaken for prayer and meditation. Develop a meditation practice or a stress reduction program and develop the ability to relax at will. If you wake up at night and cannot sleep, use that time for deep relaxation, meditation or another spiritual practice like prayer. Sleepless nights can present great opportunities for spiritual growth and for practicing relaxation.
By balancing your nutrition, your water intake, your activity and exercise with a stress reduction program, you can achieve deep, replenishing sleep in your life.