What is sleep?
How much sleep do we need?
Sleep problems in adult life
Sleeping Therapy includes
How Sleeping Therapy Works
Sleep is the regular period in every 24 hours when we are unconscious and unaware of our surroundings. There are two main types of sleep:
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep
It comes and goes throughout the night, and makes up about one fifth of our sleep time. During REM sleep, our brain is very active, our muscles are very relaxed, our eyes move quickly from side to side and we dream.
The brain is quiet, but the body may move around. Hormones are released into the bloodstream and our body repairs itself after the wear and tear of the day. There are 4 stages of non-REM sleep:
The muscles relax, the heart beats slower and body temperature falls - "pre-sleep".
Light sleep - we can still be woken easily without feeling confused.
"Slow wave" sleep - our blood pressure falls, we may talk in our sleep or sleep walk.
Deep "slow wave" sleep - we become very hard to wake. If we are woken, we feel confused.
We move between REM and non-REM sleep about five times throughout the night, dreaming more as we get toward the morning.
During a normal night, we will also have short periods of waking. These last 1 or 2 minutes and happen every 2 hours or so. We aren't usually aware of them. We are more likely to remember them if we feel anxious or there is something else going on - noises outside, our partner snoring etc.
This depends mainly on how old we are.
Babies sleep for about 17 hours each day.
Older children only need 9 or 10 hours a night.
Most adults need around 7-8 hours sleep each night.
Older people need the same amount of sleep, but will often only have one period of deep sleep during the night, usually in the first 3 or 4 hours, after which they wake more easily. We also tend to dream less as we get older.
There are also differences between people of the same age. Most of us need 7-8 hours a night, but some (a few) people can get by with only 3 hours a night. It's not helpful to regularly sleep more than 7-8 hours each night.
The short periods of being awake feel much longer than they really are. So it's easy to feel that we are not sleeping as much as we actually are.
It's easy to worry when you can't sleep. The occasional night without sleep will make you feel tired the next day, but it won't harm your physical or mental health.
However, after several sleepless nights, you will start to find that:
you are tired all the time
you drop off during the day
you find it difficult to concentrate
you find it hard to make decisions
you start to feel depressed.
This can be very dangerous if you are driving or operating heavy machinery. Many deaths are caused each year by people falling asleep at the wheel while driving.
Lack of sleep may also make us more vulnerable to high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.
Sleeping too little (Insomnia)
You may feel that you aren't getting enough sleep or that, even if you do get the hours, you don't get a good night's rest.
Some serious causes include:
difficulties at work
anxiety and worry
depression - you may wake very early in the morning and not be able to get back to sleep
thinking over and over about day to day problems
illness, pain or a high temperature
(Resources from http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinformation/mentalhealthproblems/sleepproblems/sleepingwell.aspx
In Chinese medicine, when patients are not able to fall asleep, it's because that the inner vital organs are lack of energy. The kidney's energy is in charge of the function of the brain. The heart energy is in charge of the blood circulation. These two organs are working together to supply the nutrition and oxygen to nourish the brain. When the brain recieved enough nutrition and oxygen, the whole nerve system will be able to function normally and relax properly.
To heal the sleeping problems, you need to improve the energy of the kidney and the heart.
Sleeping Therapy includes:
This picture is copied from http://www.itmonline.org/arts/als.htm.
When patients not able to sleep during the night, the body feels tried and wants to have a rest, but the mind is quite awake, just like a room have a light, you want to turn off the light, but the switch has broken, and then can not turn off the light.
Scientific speaking: the body lost ability to sleep because the stress and the toxins have affected the whole body capillary level of blood circulation has deteriorated, in result, the brain lacking oxygen.
In Chinese Medicine, Kidney energy in charge for brain function, heart energy in charge for blood circulation. If these two organs work harmoniously, we are able to have a perfect sleep.
From the traditional Chinese medicine point of view, acupuncture can open the blocked meridians, especially the one running through the spinal column known as the dumai or governing vessel (du = govern, supervise, direct; mai = channel, vessel, meridian) has a most affective influence to prove brain function.
Whether neurons are damaged by physical trauma, blocked circulation of blood (as occurs in stroke), or by biochemical processes (e.g., oxidation reactions, excess glutamate), the principle of treatment via acupuncture remains the same.
To heal sleeping problems, we need to focus work on to improving oxygen supply to the brain and improving kidney and heart energy.
Electronic magnet therapy and Fire dragon therapy: improving blood circulation and build up energy.
Detox Cupping : Removing toxins
Infrared Oxygen Chamber: Open capillaries of inner organs to help the whole body to relax
Body Detox: to remove toxins from liver and colon
Implant Acupuncture: at spinal column known as the dumai or governing vessel to improving brain function.