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Sleep Better with 4 Essential Chinese Herbs

Sleep disorders will affect about 40% of Canadians during their lifetime, leading to serious health risks. It is common especially in today’s society due to high stress, chronic exhaustion, over consumption of caffeine later in the day or simply from over stimulation from devices. A natural way to combat insomnia or other sleep disorders is with the use of Chinese herbs in a custom herbal tea.

couch sleep nap

How many hours of sleep do you really need?

The essential amount of sleep an adult needs is 7 hours or more per night. The average night of sleep was between 9 to 10 hours until roughly 100 years ago. With the invention of light bulb, TV, computers and many other electronics, most of us are sleep deprived with an average of less than 6.5 hours per night.

Different age group requires different hours of sleep. According to Mayo Clinic, the following is the average hours of sleep needed per night depending on age:

Hours needed for better sleep

5 Short & Long term effects of inadequate sleep

Sleep deprivation can cause short term and long term damage to your physical and mental health.

Short period of lacking sleep can:

  1. Decrease your alertness

  2. Decrease your memory

  3. Cause stress and irritability

  4. Damage skin complexion

  5. Slow down your metabolism

Long term of lacking sleep can:

  1. Cause high blood pressure

  2. Increase your chances of heart attack

  3. Increase your chances of stroke

  4. Cause depression

  5. Cause obesity

What does Traditional Chinese Medicine say about insomnia?

Chinese medicine looks to distinguish true insomnia from transient insomnia. Transient insomnia lasts for about a few days and can be caused by outside noise, sudden weather change, inappropriate bed temperature, consumption of coffee or other stimulants prior to bed, eating late, recent emotional upset , pain, itching, breathing disorders, etc.

lack of sleep

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), true insomnia is associated with the agitation of Shen. Shen is the lightest form of Qi. It plays a role in higher mental functions such as intellectual and spiritual aspects of consciousness. When the night falls, the lightest, most active energy (Yang) which drives us to do our daily activities, needs to withdraw and be anchored by substances with more density (Yin) in order for us to have a peaceful sleep.

Similar to our modern research findings, when our pineal gland starts to produce melatonin in the dark, this Yin (Melatonin) signals our bodies to fall asleep. At the same time our brainwaves begin to slow down as you enter a different stage of your sleep (Yang energy retrieved).

In TCM, the causes of insomnia can be from:

  1. Stagnated energy flow which prevents Yang energy to retrieve properly at night

  2. Too much heat

  3. Not enough Yin fluid to anchor the Yang energy

  4. Not enough blood to nourish the Shen (modern research has found link between low iron and insomnia and depression)

Herbal Tea for Better Sleep

There are many different herbs to treat insomnia depending on certain conditions. The following herbal tea, provided at Bodhi Tree Oriental Health Clinic, can be used for insomnia caused by inadequate Yin fluid or blood. If you have energy stagnation or too much heat, modification of the following herbal tea is needed. Please consult a Chinese medicine practitioner to prescribe you a proper herbal formula.

Here are 4 essential Chinese herbs to create a herbal tea to help you sleep better: (click image to expand)

More tips and nutrients to help us achieve better sleep:

  • Magnesium

  • Melatonin

  • Mindfulness meditation before sleep

  • No electronics before sleep

  • Sleep in total darkness

  • Sleep in cool temperature room


Book Today with a Bodhi Tree Registered Practitioner

Bodhi Tree Oriental Health Clinic is a Chinese Medical facility that takes an integrative approach to your health. Using natural techniques including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, massage, nutrition and lifestyle coaching, the clinic is a transformative experience. Through our holistic approach, we assist our patients in rapidly achieving their goals for better physical and mental health.

For more information, call us at 905-760-7542 or click here to simply schedule an appointment with us at your earliest convenience.


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