In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are many types of Insomnia, and each type has its own characteristics due to the nature of the imbalanced body. A brief descriptions of the insomnia types are listed below:

  • Difficult to fall asleep
  • Always wake up at the same time, e.g. between 1-3am, 3-5am, etc.
  • Wake up in the middle of night with heat
  • Bad sleep due to dreams
  • Wake up when the sun rises or there’s light
  • Wake up due to hunger
  • Wake up after certain number of hours
  • Wake up due to the urge for urination
  • Wake up due to difficulty to breath
  • Restless, no deep sleep
  • Many others….

So, instead of giving sleeping pills, an acupuncturist or a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner has to be able to identify the types and make the proper diagnosis in order to treat the correct meridian or system in the body. For example, the patients who woke up between 1-3am usually got something wrong with their liver system as the liver qi is flowing during that particular time slot. So, after figuring our the patient’s problem correctly, we can needle the proper acupoints on the liver meridian, and the patient’s sleep should improve gradually.