Insomnia and Sleeplessness(2)

Not surprisingly, the situation that people seek acupuncture treatment and herbal medicine for insomnia and sleeplessness is quite common.  However treatment of insomnia is complex and requires the practitioner to focus on the root of the imbalance/condition causing the sleep disruption.  For example classic texts that discuss imbalances that cause disease in the Wen bing school state one potential cause of sleeplessness:  “ In the case of one who cannot sleep and also wheezes at night, the yangming or stomach qi is rebelling upward.  Normally the qi of the three yang channels of the foot flows downward”.

With all of the above factors in mind below is a short list of questions that must be asked before beginning to treat the patient reporting sleeplessness (Note:  list is not exhaustive and full list of questions will contain all general questions that pertain to any first patient visit)

- Primary complaint with regard to sleep

  • difficulty falling asleep
  • sustained awakenings
  • early morning awakening
  • persistent sleepiness despite adequate sleep
    nightmares and excessive dreaming

- Duration/frequency

  •   a few days to a few weeks
  •   associated with particular event
  •   lasting greater than months or years

- Current medications, dietary supplements, diet and lifestyle

- Assessment of sleep hygiene

  •   noise, light, television, use of computers or mobile phones
  •   partners sleeping habits


  1    2    3    4