TCM vs West - Insomnia


Insomnia is a common occurrence in adults and TCM believes it to be very disruptive to the self-regeneration cycle of certain organs.

There are fundamental differences how Western and Eastern medicine approaches Insomnia.

In Western Medicine

Medical or psychiatric conditions, or primary sleep problems. Could be transient, short-term or chronic.

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

TCM believes that a dysfunction of the internal organs may lead to Insomnia. Insomnia is related to the Mind (Shen) which is controlled by the Heart (Blood/Yin). There are several factors that can cause insomnia. Overwork, Anxiety, Anger, Depression, Irregular Diet, Excess/Deficiency Heat causing a disturbance of the Shen. Kidney, liver, gallbladder, stomach and other organ dysfunctions can also lead to Insomnia.  


Different individuals may experience different symptoms, including:

  • Frequently waking up during sleep
  • Still feeling tired after a night’s sleep
  • Poor concentration and focus
  • Irritability, depression, or anxiety
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Palpitation
  • Poor memory
  • Blurred vision

Diet & Prevention

To help with insomnia try to keep yourself calm by using meditation, exercise, Qigong, Yoga, Tai Chi.  Avoid consuming caffeinated products after 2pm, or completely avoid consuming caffeine. Don’t eat late at night, allow 3 hours after dinner before heading to bed.  Smoking cigarettes or tobacco products close to bedtime can make it hard to fall asleep.  Alcohol can make you fall asleep initially, but may disrupt your sleep later in the night. Minimize intake of sugar and strong heating/pungently spicy food.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the following herbs are recommended for individuals with Insomnia

  • Cape Jasmine Fruit
  • Tree Peony Bark
  • Phellodendron Bark
  • Dwarf Lilyturf Root
  • Licorice Root

    These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.