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TCM In Sleep Juju

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), health is about balance. In order for the body to thrive it needs to have a balanced amount of heat and cold, dryness and moisture, blood and energy. This goes the same for sleep. In fact, the two most important elements that need to be in balance in the body for sleep are blood and yin (hydration).

 

According to Chinese medicine, for one to fall asleep easily, there must be a proper amount of blood. In TCM philosophy there is a beautiful idea regarding this. In order to fall asleep, a person's mind/spirit must anchor into the blood. If there isn’t an adequate amount of blood, the spirit/mind will wander. We even see this concept in Western medicine since one of the biggest issues those with anemia have (not having enough red blood cells) is difficulty falling asleep. Moreover, in order to stay asleep throughout the night, TCM maintains the body needs to have a balanced amount of yin, which is the cooling and hydrating aspect of body fluids. Once again, this matches with the scientific knowledge that the body temperature drops during the night.

 

All this led us to make sure we used herbs that nourish blood and hydration in the body. We chose Mulberry and Schisandra as the herbs to do this. In TCM,  Mulberry not only tonifies blood, but also aids in hydrating the system. It is also used directly for insomnia. Schisandra is a berry that is also used for hydration. It is a little different in the way it does since it is used as an astringent versus a fluid generating herb (even though it does generate some fluids too). It specifically stops an excess amount of sweating (and even lowers night-time urination) to help maintain whatever moisture you have. The beauty of this herb is that it is used to stop night-time sweating and is particularly helpful for insomnia as well.

 

There is also an entire category of herbs in Chinese medicine that contains herbs used to calm the mind and nourish the heart. These are herbs that help relax a person and ease anxiety. We chose two herbs from this very important group: Jujube Spinosae and Reishi. Jujube is even used directly to help one fall asleep and prevent heart palpitations, while Reishi is another wonderful herb that quiets the spirit and helps with insomnia.