1. Avoid overeating during dinner.
Eating too late, too fast or too much for dinner may cause stagnation of food, which could give rise to sleep discomfort that is accompanied by stomach bloatedness, epigastric distension or acid reflux. Avoid eating food that is difficult to digest during dinner.
2. Maintain proper work-rest balance.
Your body works in accordance with a biological clock that governs your activities and rest. An adequate amount of rest or sleep is crucial to maintaining internal harmony. It enables Jing, Shen and Qi to flow smoothly in your body and helps to recharge and enhance immunity.
3. Cut down or avoid taking stimulant drinks before sleep.
Stimulant drinks, such as coffee, tea, soda, chocolate or other forms of energy drinks should be avoided.
4. Avoid greasy foods and foods that hinder peristaltic movements in the digestive system.
These types of food are difficult to digest and would hence affect sleep quality. Avoid taking greasy foods, beans, corns, onions, bananas, broccoli, yams or potatoes at night for a better sleep.
5. Limit your fluid intake during the night.
This is to avoid disruption of your sleep due to a full bladder.
6. Exercise regularly.
Generally, an appropriate amount of exercise helps to promote Qi and Blood flow in your body. When the flow is smooth, all organ systems perform efficiently and sleep will be enhanced.
7. Nourish the Heart using Chinese herbs.
Insomnia is the manifestation of a Shen disorder. Nourishing the Heart will aid to calm the Shen. Lotus Seed (Lianzi, 莲子), Longan Fruit (Longyan, 龙眼), Biota Seed (Baiziren, 柏子仁), Lily Bulb (Baihe, 百合), Pearl Powder (Zhenzhufen, 珍珠粉), Schizandra Berry (Wuweizi, 五味子), Ganoderma Mushroom (Lingzhi, 灵芝), Jujube Seed (Suanzaoren, 酸枣仁) and Poria (Fuling, 茯苓) are some Chinese herbs that may bring benefits to the Heart.
8. Go for TCM acupuncture.
Acupuncture has long been recognised by the World Health Organisation to be a treatment for insomnia problems. It is effective in directing and regulating Qi movements. Depending on the type of disharmony, TCM physician would select specific acupoints and use stimulating hand techniques to ease insomnia problems. Herbal medication may be incorporated to achieve better results.
9. Restore energy after staying up late.
One may drink American Ginseng or Chrysanthemum tea to help restore energy after staying up late. American Ginseng helps to replenish Qi, supplement body fluids and suppress the body’s internal heat. Chrysanthemum tea helps to reduce internal heat due to a lack of sleep. It has a calming effect and is good for relieving eye ailments.