Monthly Archives: October 2009

Insomnia and Yang Chi

Insomnia is so common now. Even though many of us feel helpless about it, it is almost completely avoidable by aligning ourselves with the Yin/Yang energy patterns of the Mother Earth as she rotates around the Sun. It is curable if one knows how to tap into the ancient Chinese secret of balance of the Yin Yang and Five Elements in us and around us through the concept of Feng Shui. According to this concept, each day is about the constant interchanging cycle of Yin (night, passive) and Yang (day, active). These cycles are predictable, but our lives are structured to our own ‘modern’ timetables and after a while we seem to lose our center. restful sleepAccording to the Chinese Astrological system, there are twelve Rising Signs (two hour-duration) per day in the odd number sequence and the last two Rising signs in each day that begins at 7pm ending at 11pm are rising Yin winding down physical and mental activity at that time is most beneficial.

It is entertainment and commercialism that mess up our “back to nature and simplicity” mode. Are we advanced, or just needlessly complex? When we don’t have any ill-effects to our ordinary behavior we keep on doing it. However, if one has insomnia it is time to take more care. As the day winds down into evening and night, we can consider winding down as well – avoiding Yang Chi activities after 7pm or so, depending on the degree of the problem. When everything is okay and our sleep is good, we order dessert & coffee after dinner, watch that episode of True Blood or Dexter (or the evening news for that matter), hang out on the computer an extra couple of hours and still sleep like babies. Even so, to keep demanding our systems to be in Yang mode after the daily energy shift into passive Yin mode is considered a slow form of suicide in the Chinese healing system. Healthcare reform that divides the U.S. now has overlooked that education to change our habits can reduce the long term cost of premature failing of health.

Even if we can’t be perfectly in harmony with the daily Yin/Yang energy shifts, any incremental improvement will aid our health. From 9pm to 11pm at night focus on yin activities: Power down the TV and computer a little earlier. Avoid difficult tense interactions after dark. Avoid intense or violent stories (whether in newspapers or novels). Schedule exercise for earlier in the day. Instead opt for a cleansing bath with sea salts or relaxing scents like lavender. Companionable time with loved ones – no drama! Drink sleep-promoting herbal tea such as chamomile. Listen to gentle relaxing music. Meditate or read uplifting material. Allow the troubles of the day to melt away.

In the bedroom, I encourage people to reduce the number of electronic devices – if possible no TV, computer, or even electric alarm clock. Keep the vibrations as peaceful as possible.

If you are extra sensitive or already experiencing insomnia, staying away from fruits at night may even be necessary because of its glucose. To slowly fade out of the sleeping pill dependency, some have used Tylenol PM with success. Starting with 2 pills as substitute for a round or two through the night, then, to one per night and eventually none is the ideal dosage.

For those who live in New York City or other places that have Chinese herbalists , insomnia could be cured by Chinese herbs. Calming and strengthening your system through herbs is achievable – and with no risk of addiction. If we want to have long term health, 11pm to 3am while the Chi rotates to liver that detox and produces blood, we should be asleep or laying down. Hopefully, these do’s and don’ts can help many people regain their ability to create quality sleep. Rest well and Peace!