The Mechanisms of Sleep
Insomniacs can suffer from various forms of sleep deprivation. Some people have a lot of difficulty getting to sleep, but once asleep will get through the rest of the night OK. Still others will drift off to sleep without any effort but will wake up once, twice or even more times a night. Then there those who wake too early and finally those poor people who cant sleep at all. What is important from a Chinese Medicine perspective, for a person to achieve restful sleep, is an adequate state of Yang Ki and Blood.
Sleep Part One
During the day when the Yang Ki is most active, the Ki rises to the head and sense organs to stimulate them. At night this Yang energy (or Ki) must move down the body and into the internal areas (yin areas). If the Yang cannot descend then the person will remain awake and most likely will be thinking a lot.
Sleep Part Two
Once the Yang has moved deeper into the body then the other important aspect of sleep becomes important, the blood. In Chinese Medicine we say that the blood returns to the Liver Organ when we sleep. So both the state and health of the Liver organ as well as the state and health of the Blood impacts directly on sleep. If the Liver is in disharmony then it cannot receive the Blood, or it does receive it but pushes it out because of trapped Yang heat. The blood should be a balanced mixture of Yin and Yang, the Yin being the physical aspect and the Yang warming the Blood. People who are overall Blood deficiency types will be unable to get any sleep at all.