World Sleep Day is 15.3.2020
Let’s start from what is everyone’s main focus:
𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘀𝗹𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆’𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝘃𝗶𝗿𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘀. 🙂 More later.
Sleep is a basic human need; much like eating & drinking (Jing Qi) and breathing (Tian Qi). Sleep (Yuan Qi) is crucial to our overall health and well-being. Through sleep we regenerate the three treasures, as well as Wei Qi & Blood.
Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep is known to have a significant negative impact on our health in the long and short term. Next day effects of poor quality sleep include a negative impact on our attention span, memory recall and learning. Longer term effects are being studied, but poor quality sleep or sleep deprivation has been associated with significant health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, weakened immune systems and even some cancers.
The walking stage, about 16 hours of activity, corresponds to about 8 hours of sleep. And this is a good time to quote Matt Walker, a scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, who says that “Men who sleep five hours a night have significantly smaller testicles than those who sleep seven hours or more….a lack of sleep will age a man by a decade in terms of that critical aspect of wellness. And we see equivalent impairments in female reproductive health caused by a lack of sleep.”
From a TCM perspective we understand that during these 8 hours we need to accumulate enough Yin to be able to transform and spend it the next day.
Therefore we have two parameters to consider:
1st. How deep do we sleep or how well. That’s the question we are going to ask a patient – How do you feel when you get up in the morning, rested or tired? If a person says I am tired obviously they didn’t sleep enough, either in length or in quality.
2nd. How long we sleep.
These two parameters are being coordinated by the extraordinary channels. Our approach will be based upon that.
When a person is healthy the organizers, e.g. EM, allows adapting the quality and length of sleep to the amount of activity.
To last paragraph is based on, Dr Hamid Montakab’s course, Acupuncture for Insomnia where he also explains:
When we are talking about the quality, how deep is the sleep, we are talking about the Wei channels, specifically the Yin Wei.
When we are talking about the time of sleep, the length of sleep, we are going to be talking about the Qiao channels.
Basically it is between this two, the Yin Wei & the Yin Qiao that the sleep is going to be organized in response to the Yang Wei & Yang Qiao. If you had, for example, a day where your activity has been prolonged or more intense, normally at the following night you are going to have longer or deeper sleep, if everything works fine.
Here are some interesting research for all of us to get familiar with:
- German researchers discover how sleep can fight infection (link to research in the resources). Sleep strengthens the potency of certain immune cells by improving their ability to destroy cells infected with viruses.
- Nobel prize in medicine was given for the discovery of the biological clock. We are sleep- deprived in today’s world with serious medical and economical consequences.
- Study concluded that insomnia severity indices improved dramatically in the acupuncture group at two and four weeks post-treatment, and two and four weeks follow-up.
- Efficacy observation on Governor Vessel-unblocking and mind-calming acupuncture for insomnia. A bit older (2016) but this reinforces results of previous studies that have demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment in improving sleep.
- Even older but still good, The effect of acupressure on sleep quality in hemodialysis patients.
- De Berardinis, Dante, Sleep, Wei Qi, Bowls, a lecture given in an ICCM Event, 2015
- El Koumi MA, Ahmed SA, Salama AM. „Acupuncture efficacy in the treatment of persistent primary nocturnal enuresis.” Arab J Nephrol Transplant. 2013 Sep;6(3):173-6
- Gottlieb DJ, Punjabi NM, Newman AB et al. Association of sleep time with diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance. Arch Intern Med 2005; 165(8): 863-7
- Gumustekin K, Seven B, Karabulut N et al. Effects of sleep deprivation, nicotine and selenium on wound healing in rats. Neurosci 2004; 114: 1433-1442
- Montakab, Hamid, Acupuncture for Insomnia: Sleep and Dreams in Chinese Medicine, TCM Academy. 2018
- Ohayon MM, Partinen M. Insomnia and global sleep dissatisfaction in Finland. J Sleep Res. 2002;11(4):339-46.
- Stoyan Dimitrov, Tanja Lange, Cécile Gouttefangeas, Anja T.R. Jensen, Michael Szczepanski, Jannik Lehnnolz, Surjo Soekadar, Hans-Georg Rammensee, Jan Born, Luciana Besedovsky; Gαs-coupled receptor signaling and sleep regulate integrin activation of human antigen-specific T cells. J Exp Med 4 March 2019; 216 (3): 517–526. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20181169
- Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D et al. Short sleep duration is associated with elevated ghrelin, reduced leptin and increased body mass index. PLoS Med 2004; 1(3): e62
- Waker Matt, Sleep is Your superpower, Ted Talk. https://www.ted.com/talks/matt_walker_sleep_is_your_superpower/
- Wang, Y., Zhang, L., Han, Y. et al. Efficacy observation on Governor Vessel-unblocking and mind-calming acupuncture for insomnia. J. Acupunct. Tuina. Sci. 14, 274–278 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11726-016-0935-1
- Yin, Xua, Minghui Gou, Jian Xu, Bo Dong, Ping Yin, Fernand Masquelin, Junyi Wu, Lixing Lao, and Shifen Xu. “Efficacy and safety of acupuncture treatment on primary insomnia: a randomized controlled trial.” Sleep Medicine (2017), pg 198.