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Battling Insomnia: How to Fight Sleep Disorders

Others, Wellness


07 MAY 2021



What is Sleep Disorder?

Whether it is common to get on the bus or subway in the early morning, many people will naturally feel drowsy. Nearly one-third of a person’s life is spent sleeping. Sleep disorders are common health issues that everyone will be extremely concerned about; a night’s sleep is a guaranteed day of refreshment and rejuvenation, bringing a pleasant mood and job competence for the next day.


Clinically, older patients with sleep problems may experience sleep interruption due to frequent urination; some are due to diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, depression, anxiety, 50 shoulders, or taking antidepressants, blood pressure-lowering drugs, etc. However, insomnia amongst the majority of patients is mainly caused by poor living habits or living environment, resulting in an inability to sleep, experiencing interrupted sleep, or even nightmaresAs a result, most people will often resort to sleeping pills to seek temporary relief which could also lead to an overdependence on sleeping pills. Besides worrying issues of drug tolerance, dependence problems, and the increased burden on the liver, there are also other side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, slow response, and memory loss, and even increased risk of dementia… and other side effects.


How does Insomnia affect the body?



1. Emotional disorders

Excessive joy, anger, and sorrow can lead to dysfunction of the internal organs. For example, if you encounter an upsetting situation during the day that negatively affects your mood, the liver qi becomes stagnant and it turns into fire, and the evil fire disturbs the mind.


2. Irregular diet

Overeating, food stagnation, damage to the spleen and stomach, such as gastroesophageal reflux; strong tea, coffee, and alcoholic beverages can also result in insomnia.


3. Disorders of work and rest

Excessive fatigue can hurt the spleen. A loss of motivation to work also causes the spleen to weaken, thus in turn weakening one’s qi. The inability to produce enough qi and blood leads to a loss of energy.


4. Deficiency after illness

Prolonged illness leads to blood deficiency, aging, and less blood, causing insufficient effort and uneasiness.


The symptoms: How to tell if you suffer from insomnia?



1. Deficiency syndrome, mostly due to insufficient yin and blood, heart failure to support;


Clinical features: weak physique, pale and lackluster, often tired and do not like to speak, heart palpitations, and forgetfulness.


2. Demonstration, disturbing the heart for evil heat;


Clinical features: upset and easy to get angry, dry throat, bitter mouth, constipation, yellow urine.


If the temperament is irritable – you are easily angered and suffering from insomnia, it is mostly caused by liver-fire internal disturbance. The stomach is full and stuffy, the tongue is white, thick. Insomnia, mostly stomach, and intestines, phlegm, and heat will be intensified


If the mood is irritable, palpitation, dizziness, forgetfulness, and insomnia, mostly Yin deficiency and fire are prosperous, the heart and kidneys are not reciprocating; the complexion is pale and luster, the limbs are tired, and the insomnia is frequent, mostly due to spleen deficiency, unlucky, and mental failure;


In treatment, the principle should be to replenish the deficiency and relieve the deficiency and adjust the yin and yang of the internal organs. Positivities can reduce the excess, such as soothing the liver and purging fire, clearing phlegm and heat, and eliminating and remedying the middle; the deficiency syndrome can replenish its deficiencies, such as replenishing qi and nourishing blood, strengthening the spleen, and replenishing the liver and kidney. And on the basis of reducing the real and nourishing deficiency, soothe the nerves, such as nourishing the blood, calming the nerves, and clearing the heart, and calming the mind.


Regarding the conditioning of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the physician must treat the patient according to the actual condition of the patient, or use Suanzaoren Decoction, Liuwei Dihuang Pill, Guipi Decoction, Long Dan Xie Gan Decoction or Huanglian Wendan Decoction, etc. 


In the treatment of acupoints, you can use acupuncture or pressing on acupoints such as Ershenmen, Baihui, Shenmen, Sanyinjiao, Taixi, Neiguan, and Taichong, or apply Yongquan acupoints for treatment. In addition, you can also use a scraping board to dredge the head.


Avoid doing the following to prevent instances of insomnia:



1. Look at the computer or use technological devices before going to bed.


2. Going to bed immediately after taking a shower: In order to lower the core body temperature, take a hot bath 1.5 to 2 hours before going to bed to increase the body temperature, and then the body will automatically lower the body temperature. After 2 hours, the core body temperature will drop, and it will naturally want to sleep.


3. Strenuous exercise: Avoid doing intense workouts before bed. Instead, do some gentle stretching exercises or meditation close to bedtime to calm the body and mind slowly.


4. Eating before going to sleep: It is best not to eat two hours before going to bed, so as not to cause gastrointestinal burden, increase gastric acid secretion, leading to gastroesophageal reflux in the middle of the night, and drink less water and beverages after dinner to avoid frequent urination at night.


5. Drinking alcohol before sleeping: Although drinking alcohol makes you sleepy when alcohol is metabolized, it is more likely to cause you to awake in the middle of the night, resulting in poor sleep which does not help restore physical strength.


6. Planning things or overthinking while lying in bed: It’s best not to think about anything when you sleep. If you want to look back on today and plan tomorrow, you should write down these things before going to bed instead of waiting until you are lying in bed.


7. Still lying in bed if you can’t fall asleep: When you can’t fall asleep, you should get up and leave the bedroom to do other things (such as listening to soft music in the living room but keep the light dim), and wait until you really want to sleep before going back to sleep.


It is important to develop a regular sleep schedule and maintain a comfortable sleeping environment, so as to effectively improve insomnia.

About the author


Physician 中医师

Paya Lebar Square

Wang Chien Min 张医师

Physician 中医师

Wang Chien Min 王建民

TCM Registration No. T2103723J

English: Conversational

Chinese: Fluent

Educational Background: Advanced Diploma in TCM, Singapore College of TCM

教育背景: 新加坡中医学院

  • Area of Interest: Traumatology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Gynaecology
  • Before working in Singapore, Physician Wang had practiced TCM in Taiwan for more than 10 years and also worked in Malaysia. He had been under the tutelage of prestigious Taiwanese doctors to master his skills in various treatments. Physician Wang is skilled in internal medicine like acupuncture and is able to achieve excellent results. He has been greatly heralded for his meticulous treatments which are very patient-focuse'd.

  • 擅长:伤科, 内科, 儿科, 妇科
  • 王医师在台湾修读中医10年,并曾受邀到马来西亚参诊。他师承台湾两大名医师,在名医们的指导下,不断地提升了他的医术。同时,他在内科疾病的治疗上有立竿见影的效果。王医师也擅长内科针灸治疗并且效果显著。