People who suffer insomnia are often on the lookout for new things that could help them. For you tired souls, we introduce three possibilities from the realm of Traditional Chinese Medicine. We hope these lead you down the path to better sleep.
1. Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang
This herbal combination includes 11 herbs, boiled in water. One study looked at 31 patients who had suffered insomnia for at least six months. They all exhibited stagnant blood, with symptoms such as dizziness, piercing headache, and a choppy pulse. Researchers found that 16 people were “cured” after taking the herbal remedy, meaning they could easily drift off to sleep each night and sleep for at least eight hours. Their symptoms dissolved. They found seven people had significant improvement, meaning they slept for at least six hours and most symptoms disappeared. Eight others had some improvement, sleeping longer than before, but still less than six hours a night.
PLUS: How to Sleep Soundly
In this remedy, a mallet with small needles stuck in its head is used to tap what is called the “governing vessel,” which runs down the middle of your back. This continues until the area reddens. One study looked at 12 patients whose sleeplessness came from an overactive lifestyle. Sometimes this form of insomnia includes daytime symptoms such as dizziness, heart palpitations, weakness, lack of appetite, and constipation. Using the tapping acupuncture treatment just three times increased patients’ sleep to five hours from three.
The therapy is designed to free the flow of Qi and blood, restore the balance of yin and yang, and drain heat from the area. The result is calm, and better sleep.
A bundle of evidence says that acupuncture helps improve sleep and fight insomnia. In one study, 22 people tried 20 treatments, with needles in place for 30 minutes. They were also told to stimulate up to six acupoints in their ear a few times a day by pressing certain seeds into them. After 20 sessions, 14 people (64%) were able to fall asleep and stay asleep for at least seven hours. Five people (23%) were able to do so for five hours or more.
Another study involved 202 patients who had suffered insomnia for at least six months. The results showed that 55 people increased their sleeping hours to about 80% or more, and no longer needed sleeping medication. Another 50 increased their sleep to about 60%, and stopped taking the meds. Another 60 increased it by 50%, while 37 people had 40% or below and continued to rely on sedatives.
Overall, acupuncture can be very helpful with insomnia.