What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, leading to impaired daytime functioning. It can manifest as restless sleep, frequent waking during the night, and trouble returning to sleep once awake. Insomnia affects a person's overall health and quality of life, contributing to fatigue, mood disturbances, and decreased productivity. It's a condition that can be transient or chronic, with various underlying causes ranging from lifestyle factors to psychological stress.

How does TCM view Insomnia?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), insomnia is viewed as a symptom of an underlying imbalance within the body's energy system. Contrasting with the Western medical approach that often focuses on psychological and environmental factors, TCM sees insomnia as a manifestation of disharmony in Qi (vital energy), Blood, Yin, Yang, and organ systems. TCM practitioners aim to identify and correct these imbalances through holistic treatments, addressing the root causes of insomnia.

Root Causes of Insomnia in TCM

TCM recognizes several patterns that can lead to insomnia. One significant cause is Heat, where conditions like Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency create an internal environment that disrupts sleep. Symptoms accompanying this pattern include night sweats, a sensation of heat, and dryness.

Another common TCM pattern is Blood Deficiency, where insufficient Blood fails to nourish the Heart, leading to symptoms like dizziness and poor memory, alongside insomnia. TCM also identifies Yin Deficiency and Wind as contributing factors, where a lack of nourishing Yin or internal movement of Wind can disturb the mind, resulting in sleeplessness.

Explore below more details about what might cause Insomnia according to TCM.

  • By Syndrome
  • By Organ
  • Heat
  • Blood Deficiency
  • Yin Deficiency
  • Qi Deficiency
  • Mind Disturbance
  • Wind
  • Yang Excess
  • Qi Stagnation
  • Blood Stasis
  • Phlegm
  • Dampness
  • Yang Deficiency
  • Qi Rebellion
  • Cold
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Spleen
  • Pericardium
  • Lung
  • Stomach
  • Small Intestine
Detailed description of the cause

Heat

In TCM "Heat" signifies an excess of Yang energy, leading to an imbalance where heat predominates over the body's cool Yin aspects. This condition is metaphorically akin to an internal over-heating. Symptoms indicative of Heat can include feelings of warmth, fever, sweating, irritability, red face, thirst with a preference for cold drinks, and a rapid pulse. The tongue may appear red with a yellow coating. Unlike the common interpretation of heat in terms of temperature, in TCM, it represents a state of hyperactivity or inflammation in the body.... see more

Heat Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Restlessness Thirst Anxiety Flushed Face Bitter Taste In The Mouth Night Sweats Dizziness Feeling Hot

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Insomnia with very restless sleep, Afternoon heat sensation, Dry mouth, Preference for sipping, Dry mouth and throat at night, Night sweats, Cardiac burning sensation, Hot palms and soles, Dry stools, Scanty and dark urine, Flushed cheekbones... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang | Huang Lian E Jiao Tang | Dang Gui Liu Huang Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang
Full-Heat in the Small Intestine Insomnia, Restlessness, Tongue ulcers, Mouth ulcers, Throat pain, Deafness, Cardiac burning sensation, Abdominal pain, Craving for cold beverages, Scanty and dark urine, Hematuria, Urinary burning... see more Dao Chi San
Heart Fire blazing Insomnia, Palpitations, Thirst, Mouth ulcers, Tongue ulcers, Restlessness, Anxiety, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Hematuria, Dark urine, Bitter taste in the mouth... see more Xie Xin Tang | Zi Xue Dan | Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin
Heat in Nutritive Qi level Insomnia, Nighttime fever, Dry mouth without desire to drink, Restlessness, Delirium, Incoherent or confused speech, Aphasia, Macules... see more Qing Ying Tang | Bai He Di Huang Tang
Heat in the Blood Insomnia, Feeling hot, Red skin eruptions, Thirst, Frequent bleeding, Bloody sputum, Hematochezia, Hematuria, Vomiting blood, Hemoptysis, Nosebleeds, Excessive menstruation... see more Qing Ying Tang | Bai He Di Huang Tang | Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang | Gu Jing Wan | Shi Hui San | Hua Ban Tang | Qing Re Gu Jing Tang
Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing Insomnia, Flushed cheekbones, Restlessness, Night sweats, Low grade fever in the afternoon, Heat sensation in palms, Afternoon heat sensation, Evening heat sensation, Scanty and dark urine, Hematuria, Dry throat, Preference for sipping, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Nocturnal emission, Hypersexuality, Dry stools... see more Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan
Lesser Yin Heat Transformation Insomnia, Feeling hot, Irritability, Dry mouth and throat at night, Dark urine, Night sweats... see more Huang Lian E Jiao Tang
Pericardium Fire Insomnia, Palpitations, Stifling sensation in the chest, Bitter taste in the mouth, Thirst, Mouth ulcers, Tongue ulcers, Cardiac burning sensation, Rapid respiration, Restlessness, Anxiety, Feeling hot, Vivid dreaming, Excessive menstruation... see more Xie Xin Tang | Zi Xue Dan
Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium Insomnia, Palpitations, Flushed face, Bitter taste in the mouth, Noisy breathing, Restlessness, Vivid dreaming, Anxiety, Incoherent or confused speech, Confusion, Rash behaviour, Uncontrolled laughing or crying, Verbal aggression, Talking to oneself, Depression, Dull shallow face, Aggression, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Chest pain, Rapid respiration... see more Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang | Wen Dan Tang | Zhi Bao Dan | Hui Chun Dan
Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart Insomnia, Palpitations, Flushed face, Bitter taste in the mouth, Noisy breathing, Restlessness, Vivid dreaming, Anxiety, Incoherent or confused speech, Confusion, Rash behaviour, Uncontrolled laughing or crying, Verbal aggression, Talking to oneself, Depression, Dull shallow face, Aggression... see more Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang | Wen Dan Tang | Sheng Tie Luo Yin
Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs Insomnia, Coughing, Shortness of breath, Wheezing, Stifling sensation in the chest, Sputum, Feeling hot, Thirst, Head and body heaviness, Dizziness, Copious thick yellow sputum... see more Wen Dan Tang | Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan | Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang | Er Chen Tang | Qing Xin Li Ge Tang | Ren Shen Ge Jie San | Pi Pa Qing Fei Yin
Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire Insomnia, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Irritability, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Globus sensation, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Thirst, Anger, Pre menstrual tension, Irregular periods, Pre menstrual breast distension, Excessive menstruation... see more Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San | Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Wind Cold with Internal Heat Insomnia, Strong fever, Severe chills, Lack of sweating, Headaches, Feeling of heaviness, General sensation of tightness, Flushed face, Eye hyperemia, Dry nose, Thirst, Irritability, Hemoptysis, Mottled skin... see more Shi Gao Tang
Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Nighttime fever, Emaciation, Chronic pyelonephritis, Pulmonary tuberculosis, Renal tuberculosis, Tidal fever, Hot palms and soles, Red skin eruptions, Night sweats, Generalized fatigue... see more Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang
Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys Insomnia, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Palpitations, Poor memory, Lower back pain, Knee pain, Night sweats, Constipation, Menopausal hot flashes, Blurry vision... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan
Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel Insomnia, Vulvar itching, Yellow vaginal discharge, Painful intercourse, Restlessness, Irritability, Dark urine, Excessive vaginal discharge, Foul-Smelling vaginal discharge, Sticky vaginal discharge, Vaginal itching... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Blood Deficiency

Blood Deficiency in TCM is like when your body's tank runs low on the vital energy that blood provides. It's not exactly the same as anemia in modern medicine, which is about having too few red blood cells. Instead, Blood Deficiency in TCM is about your body not having enough of the life-giving qualities that blood brings, like nourishment and moisture. This can make you feel tired, look pale, and even feel dizzy or have blurry vision. It's like a garden not getting enough water to stay lush and vibrant. TCM sees this as an imbalance where the body isn't being nourished as it should be, impacting overall health and well-being.... see more

Blood Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Dizziness Poor Memory Scanty Menstruation Palpitations Pale Lips Amenorrhea Generalized Fatigue Vivid Dreaming

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Qi and Blood Deficiency Insomnia, General weakness, Generalized fatigue, Weak voice, Pale face, Shortness of breath, Palpitations, Dizziness, Poor memory, Reluctance to speak, Lack of appetite, Limb numbness, Skin numbness... see more Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang | Shi Quan Da Bu Tang | Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang | Gui Pi Tang | Ba Zhen Tang | Guo Qi Yin | Zhi Gan Cao Tang
Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Dizziness, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Dull shallow face, Pale lips, Poor memory... see more Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang | Gui Pi Tang | Si Wu Tang | Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Da Bu Yuan Jian | Ren Shen Zi Xie Tang
Heart Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Easily startled, Vivid dreaming Gui Pi Tang | Si Wu Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang | Shen Qi Si Wu Tang | Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang 1 | Gan Mai Da Zao Tang | Zhen Xin An Shen Tang
Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Dizziness, Vivid dreaming, Poor memory, Anxiety, Easily startled, Dull pale complexion, Pale lips, Blurry vision, Eye floaters, Night blindness, Tingling of limbs, Limb numbness, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Muscle cramps, Muscle weakness, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Depression, Lack of direction, Withered and brittle nails... see more Gui Pi Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang | Sheng Yu Tang | Zhen Zhu Mu Wan
Liver Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Blurry vision, Dull pale complexion, Scanty menstruation, Limb numbness, Pale lips, Muscle weakness, Dizziness, Tingling of limbs, Eye floaters, Night blindness, Amenorrhea, Withered and brittle nails, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Depression, Lack of direction, Vivid dreaming... see more Si Wu Tang | Bu Gan Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang | Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan
Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Fine tremor, Facial tic, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Limb numbness, Tingling of limbs, Poor memory, Scanty menstruation... see more Si Wu Tang | Bu Gan Tang | E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang
Pericardium Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Chest distension, Chest stiffness, Chest pain, Palpitations, Poor memory Shen Qi Si Wu Tang
Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Dizziness, Vivid dreaming, Poor memory, Anxiety, Easily startled, Dull pale complexion, Pale lips, Generalized fatigue, Muscle weakness, Diarrhea, Lack of appetite, Scanty menstruation... see more Gui Pi Tang
Spleen Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Pale face, Weak limbs, Diarrhea, Depression, Emaciation, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Slight abdominal distension after eating... see more Gui Pi Tang
Heart Blood Deficiency with Liver Qi Stagnation Restless sleep, Confusion, Melancholia, Crying, Abnormal behavior, Insomnia, Yawning Gan Mai Da Zao Tang
Liver Yang Rising with Blood and Yin Deficiency Restless sleep, Irritability, Insomnia, Occasional palpitations, Anxiety, Dizziness Zhen Zhu Mu Wan
Heart and Spleen Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, Anxiety, Pale face, Poor memory, Diarrhea, Scanty menstruation, Pale lips, Dizziness... see more Gui Pi Tang
Blood Deficiency and Stagnation Insomnia, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Lackluster complexion and nails, Muscle tension, Palpitations, Poor constitution, Irregular periods, Amenorrhea, Lower abdominal pain, Muscle contractions... see more Si Wu Tang | Tao Hong Si Wu Tang
Yin and Blood Deficiency Insomnia with very restless sleep, Irritability, Heart palpitations with anxiety, Generalized fatigue, Restless sleeplessness, Poor concentration, Nocturnal emission, Poor memory, Dry stools, Mouth ulcers, Menopausal symptoms... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan
Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency Restlnessness at night, Palpitations, Poor memory, Restless sleeplessness, Fever, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, Coughing, Shortness of breath, Exertional dyspnea, Weight loss... see more Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Yin Deficiency

Yin deficiency in TCM is a pattern of disharmony characterized by a depletion of the body's Yin energy, which represents the cooling, moistening, and nurturing aspects of our physiology. This condition often arises from factors like chronic stress, overwork, insufficient rest, or prolonged illness. Symptoms of Yin deficiency can include a sensation of heat, especially in the afternoon or evening, night sweats, insomnia, a dry mouth or throat, and a red tongue with little coating. There might also be a general feeling of restlessness or irritability. Since Yin is essential for balancing the body's active and warm Yang energy, its deficiency leads to a relative excess of Yang, manifesting as heat or dryness symptoms.... see more

Yin Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Night Sweats Dizziness Flushed Cheekbones Anxiety Restlessness Dry Mouth Tinnitus Hot Palms And Soles

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heart Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Night sweats, Feeling of uneasiness, Feeling hot, Heat sensation in palms Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Ren Shen Dang Gui Tang
Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Vertical headaches, Occipital headache, Limb numbness, Tingling of limbs, Dry eyes, Blurry vision, Dry throat, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Withered and brittle nails, Vaginal dryness, Night sweats, Dry stools, Nocturnal emission, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Late menstruation, Infertility... see more Tiao Gan Tang | Gui Shao Di Huang Tang | He Che Da Zao Wan | Zuo Gui Yin | Si Wu Tang | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Qi Ju Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan | Qing Gu San | Yi Guan Jian
Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Insomnia with very restless sleep, Afternoon heat sensation, Dry mouth, Preference for sipping, Dry mouth and throat at night, Night sweats, Cardiac burning sensation, Hot palms and soles, Dry stools, Scanty and dark urine, Flushed cheekbones... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang | Huang Lian E Jiao Tang | Dang Gui Liu Huang Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang
Kidney Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Perspiration, Back pain, Hearing loss, Dry mouth and throat at night, Lower back pain, Constipation, Scanty and dark urine, Infertility, Premature ejaculation, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Depression, Anxiety, Heat sensation in palms, Evening heat sensation, Flushed cheekbones, Menopausal hot flashes, Preference for sipping, Evening anxiety... see more Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang 2 | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan | Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan | Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan
Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing Insomnia, Flushed cheekbones, Restlessness, Night sweats, Low grade fever in the afternoon, Heat sensation in palms, Afternoon heat sensation, Evening heat sensation, Scanty and dark urine, Hematuria, Dry throat, Preference for sipping, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Nocturnal emission, Hypersexuality, Dry stools... see more Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan
Lesser Yin Heat Transformation Insomnia, Feeling hot, Irritability, Dry mouth and throat at night, Dark urine, Night sweats... see more Huang Lian E Jiao Tang
Liver Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Dizziness, Limb numbness, Tingling of limbs, Blurry vision, Eye floaters, Dry eyes, Night blindness, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Dull pale complexion, Flushed cheekbones, Muscle weakness, Muscle cramps, Withered and brittle nails, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Depression, Lack of direction, Night sweats, Vivid dreaming, Afternoon fever, Hot palms and soles, Preference for sipping... see more Bu Gan Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang | Qi Ju Di Huang Wan | Yi Guan Jian
Lung Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Hoarse voice, Itchy throat, Reluctance to speak, Thin chest Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang | Qing Zao Jiu Fei Tang | Bu Fei E Jiao Tang | Jiu Xian San
Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Heat sensation in palms, Emaciation, Sore throat at night, Thirst, Anxiety, Jumpy, Scanty and dark urine, Dry stools, Dry mouth and throat at night, Nocturnal emission, Pain relieved by pressure and cold, Preference for sipping... see more Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan | Mu Li San
Liver Yang Rising with Blood and Yin Deficiency Restless sleep, Irritability, Insomnia, Occasional palpitations, Anxiety, Dizziness Zhen Zhu Mu Wan
Deficiency of the Liver and Kidney Yin Insomnia, Sore knees, Lower back pain, Knee weakness, Dry mouth, Dry tongue, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Vivid dreaming, Hair graying, Hair loss... see more Er Zhi Wan
Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Poor memory, Night sweats, Anxiety, Tinnitus, Dizziness, Vivid dreaming, Restlessness, Nocturnal emission... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Jiao Tai Wan | Ci Zhu Wan
Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Nighttime fever, Emaciation, Chronic pyelonephritis, Pulmonary tuberculosis, Renal tuberculosis, Tidal fever, Hot palms and soles, Red skin eruptions, Night sweats, Generalized fatigue... see more Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang
Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys Insomnia, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Palpitations, Poor memory, Lower back pain, Knee pain, Night sweats, Constipation, Menopausal hot flashes, Blurry vision... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan
Yin and Blood Deficiency Insomnia with very restless sleep, Irritability, Heart palpitations with anxiety, Generalized fatigue, Restless sleeplessness, Poor concentration, Nocturnal emission, Poor memory, Dry stools, Mouth ulcers, Menopausal symptoms... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Deficiency

Qi Deficiency in TCM is like running low on battery power. Qi is the vital energy that powers every function in your body. When there's a Qi Deficiency, it means your body doesn't have enough of this essential energy. This can make you feel tired all the time, weak, or even cause shortness of breath. It's similar to how you feel when you haven't had enough sleep or nutritious food. Your body just doesn't have the energy it needs to perform at its best. Unlike modern medicine, which often focuses on specific physical causes for fatigue and weakness, TCM views Qi Deficiency as an overall energy depletion that affects your entire well-being, and it seeks to replenish and balance this vital energy.... see more

Qi Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Generalized Fatigue Palpitations Poor Memory Lack Of Appetite Anemia Mental Exhaustion Diarrhea General Weakness

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Qi and Blood Deficiency Insomnia, General weakness, Generalized fatigue, Weak voice, Pale face, Shortness of breath, Palpitations, Dizziness, Poor memory, Reluctance to speak, Lack of appetite, Limb numbness, Skin numbness... see more Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang | Shi Quan Da Bu Tang | Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang | Gui Pi Tang | Ba Zhen Tang | Guo Qi Yin | Zhi Gan Cao Tang
Heart and Spleen Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, Anxiety, Pale face, Poor memory, Diarrhea, Scanty menstruation, Pale lips, Dizziness... see more Gui Pi Tang
Spleen Deficiency with Dampness Insomnia, Edema, Feeling of heaviness, Diarrhea, Urinary dysfunction, Glomerulonephritis, Kidney infection, Nephrotic syndrome, Cystitis, Hydrocele, Migraine... see more Liu Jun Zi Tang | Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin
Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency Restlnessness at night, Palpitations, Poor memory, Restless sleeplessness, Fever, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, Coughing, Shortness of breath, Exertional dyspnea, Weight loss... see more Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Mind Disturbance

In TCM "Shen" refers to the mind or spirit, and a Shen disturbance is a pattern of disharmony that affects the mental and emotional state. This concept reflects the TCM belief in the deep interconnectedness of mind and body. Symptoms of Shen disturbance can vary widely but often include anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, confusion, or in severe cases, hallucinations or delirium. These symptoms indicate an imbalance in the body's energies affecting the heart, which in TCM is not only the center of blood circulation but also the seat of the mind and consciousness. The root of Shen disturbance can be traced to various factors, including emotional stress, physical illness, or an imbalance in fundamental substances like Qi, Yin, or Yang.... see more

Mind Disturbance Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Palpitations Thirst Restlessness Anxiety Flushed Face Bitter Taste In The Mouth Vivid Dreaming Mouth Ulcers

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heart Fire blazing Insomnia, Palpitations, Thirst, Mouth ulcers, Tongue ulcers, Restlessness, Anxiety, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Hematuria, Dark urine, Bitter taste in the mouth... see more Xie Xin Tang | Zi Xue Dan | Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin
Pericardium Fire Insomnia, Palpitations, Stifling sensation in the chest, Bitter taste in the mouth, Thirst, Mouth ulcers, Tongue ulcers, Cardiac burning sensation, Rapid respiration, Restlessness, Anxiety, Feeling hot, Vivid dreaming, Excessive menstruation... see more Xie Xin Tang | Zi Xue Dan
Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium Insomnia, Palpitations, Flushed face, Bitter taste in the mouth, Noisy breathing, Restlessness, Vivid dreaming, Anxiety, Incoherent or confused speech, Confusion, Rash behaviour, Uncontrolled laughing or crying, Verbal aggression, Talking to oneself, Depression, Dull shallow face, Aggression, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Chest pain, Rapid respiration... see more Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang | Wen Dan Tang | Zhi Bao Dan | Hui Chun Dan
Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart Insomnia, Palpitations, Flushed face, Bitter taste in the mouth, Noisy breathing, Restlessness, Vivid dreaming, Anxiety, Incoherent or confused speech, Confusion, Rash behaviour, Uncontrolled laughing or crying, Verbal aggression, Talking to oneself, Depression, Dull shallow face, Aggression... see more Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang | Wen Dan Tang | Sheng Tie Luo Yin
Detailed description of the cause

Wind

In TCM "Wind" is a concept that represents a pattern of disharmony, often characterized by its sudden and unpredictable nature, much like a gusty wind changing direction without warning. This pattern is associated with symptoms that come and go quickly or move around the body, such as itching, tremors, or even certain types of pain. Wind is considered to be a primary cause of illnesses that have these rapidly changing characteristics. In TCM, external Wind often refers to illnesses that start suddenly, like the common cold, believed to be caused by external pathogenic factors like climatic changes. On the other hand, internal Wind can be linked to internal imbalances and can manifest in conditions like dizziness or spasms. ... see more

Wind Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Headaches Dizziness Limb Numbness Poor Memory Dry Throat Blurry Vision Convulsions Coma

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Interior Wind Insomnia, Convulsions, Hand tremor, Dizziness, Paralysis, Coma, Tic disorder, Mouth deviation, Eye deviation, Tremors, Headaches, Limb numbness... see more Si Wu Tang | Bu Gan Tang | Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin | Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Qi Ju Di Huang Wan | E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang | Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang
Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Fine tremor, Facial tic, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Limb numbness, Tingling of limbs, Poor memory, Scanty menstruation... see more Si Wu Tang | Bu Gan Tang | E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang
Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising Insomnia, Tremors, Facial tic, Severe dizziness, Tinnitus, Headaches, Hypertension, Dry throat, Dry eyes, Blurry vision, Limb numbness, Tingling of limbs, Poor memory, Back pain, Oliguria, Night sweats... see more Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Qi Ju Di Huang Wan | E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang | Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang | Feng Yin Tang
Wind Cold with Internal Heat Insomnia, Strong fever, Severe chills, Lack of sweating, Headaches, Feeling of heaviness, General sensation of tightness, Flushed face, Eye hyperemia, Dry nose, Thirst, Irritability, Hemoptysis, Mottled skin... see more Shi Gao Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Yang Excess

Yang Excess in TCM refers to a state where there is an overabundance of Yang energy, leading to symptoms of heat and hyperactivity in the body. This pattern of disharmony often arises from factors like stress, excessive physical activity, overconsumption of spicy or heating foods, or an internal imbalance that causes Yang to flare up. Symptoms of Yang Excess include a feeling of heat, red face, irritability, restlessness, thirst, constipation, and a rapid, forceful pulse. Treatment in TCM for Yang Excess aims to cool down and subdue the excessive Yang while nurturing Yin energy to restore balance.... see more

Yang Excess Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Dizziness Tinnitus Headaches Dry Throat Blurry Vision Irritability Tremors Facial Tic

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising Insomnia, Tremors, Facial tic, Severe dizziness, Tinnitus, Headaches, Hypertension, Dry throat, Dry eyes, Blurry vision, Limb numbness, Tingling of limbs, Poor memory, Back pain, Oliguria, Night sweats... see more Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Qi Ju Di Huang Wan | E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang | Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang | Feng Yin Tang
Liver Yang Rising Insomnia, Headaches, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Deafness, Blurry vision, Dry mouth, Dry throat, Irritability, Exhaustion, Anger, Stiff neck, Shoulder stiffness, Stiff upper back... see more Zhen Xin An Shen Tang | Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin | Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Qi Ju Di Huang Wan | Zhen Zhu Mu Wan | Da Chai Hu Tang
Liver Yang Rising with Blood and Yin Deficiency Restless sleep, Irritability, Insomnia, Occasional palpitations, Anxiety, Dizziness Zhen Zhu Mu Wan
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Stagnation

Qi Stagnation in TCM is like having a traffic jam in your body's energy system. Qi, the vital life force that flows through your body, is supposed to move smoothly to maintain health and balance. But with Qi Stagnation, this flow gets blocked or slowed down, like cars stuck on a highway. This can lead to symptoms like feeling stressed, emotional mood swings, and physical discomfort, often described as a feeling of fullness or tightness, especially in the chest or abdomen. It's as though the body's internal energy circulation is disrupted, causing various issues. TCM sees this as an energy flow problem, different from modern medicine's focus on specific physiological processes.... see more

Qi Stagnation Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Irritability Mood Swings Depression Menstrual Cramps Dark Menstrual Blood Irregular Periods Breast Engorgement Pre Menstrual Tension

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Qi And Blood Stagnation Insomnia, Chest distension, Chest pain, Stabbing fixed pain, Dark face, Purple lips, Purple nails, Irritability, Mood swings, Depression, Mottled skin, Foot edema, Abdominal masses, Melena black tarry stool, Menstrual cramps, Amenorrhea, Dark menstrual clots, Dark menstrual blood, Prolonged lochia, Irregular periods... see more Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang | Wen Jing Tang | Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan
Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire Insomnia, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Irritability, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Globus sensation, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Thirst, Anger, Pre menstrual tension, Irregular periods, Pre menstrual breast distension, Excessive menstruation... see more Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San | Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Heart Blood Deficiency with Liver Qi Stagnation Restless sleep, Confusion, Melancholia, Crying, Abnormal behavior, Insomnia, Yawning Gan Mai Da Zao Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Blood Stasis

Blood Stasis in TCM is a concept where the blood flow in the body is not as smooth or efficient as it should be. Imagine a river that's supposed to flow freely, but instead, it's getting blocked or moving too slowly in some parts. This can lead to various health issues, like pain that feels sharp or stabbing, dark bruises, and a complexion that looks purplish. TCM believes that good health relies on the smooth and vibrant flow of Qi and blood throughout the body, so when blood gets stuck, it's like a traffic jam in your body, leading to discomfort or health problems.... see more

Blood Stasis Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Amenorrhea Scanty Menstruation Dizziness Depression Menstrual Cramps Irregular Periods Lower Abdominal Pain Blurry Vision

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Qi And Blood Stagnation Insomnia, Chest distension, Chest pain, Stabbing fixed pain, Dark face, Purple lips, Purple nails, Irritability, Mood swings, Depression, Mottled skin, Foot edema, Abdominal masses, Melena black tarry stool, Menstrual cramps, Amenorrhea, Dark menstrual clots, Dark menstrual blood, Prolonged lochia, Irregular periods... see more Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang | Wen Jing Tang | Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan
Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Lack of appetite, Slight abdominal distension after eating, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Dull pale complexion, Weak limbs, Diarrhea, Emaciation, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Limb numbness, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Eye floaters, Night blindness, Pale lips, Muscle weakness, Muscle cramps, Withered and brittle nails, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Depression, Lack of direction... see more Gui Pi Tang | Dang Gui Shao Yao San | Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang
Blood Deficiency and Stagnation Insomnia, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Lackluster complexion and nails, Muscle tension, Palpitations, Poor constitution, Irregular periods, Amenorrhea, Lower abdominal pain, Muscle contractions... see more Si Wu Tang | Tao Hong Si Wu Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Phlegm

In TCM "Phlegm" as a pattern of disharmony is a complex concept that extends beyond the physical manifestation of mucus. It represents a pathological factor that can disrupt the flow of Qi (vital energy) and blood, leading to various health issues. Phlegm in TCM is seen as a sticky, turbid substance arising from the body's inability to metabolize fluids properly, often due to a dysfunction of the spleen. It's not only associated with respiratory problems like cough and congestion but also with systemic issues. Symptoms can include a feeling of heaviness, mental cloudiness, dizziness, and in some cases, the formation of lumps or masses. Phlegm can even be "invisible," contributing to emotional disturbances like depression or stress. ... see more

Phlegm Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Bitter Taste In The Mouth Anxiety Thirst Sputum Palpitations Flushed Face Noisy Breathing Restlessness

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium Insomnia, Palpitations, Flushed face, Bitter taste in the mouth, Noisy breathing, Restlessness, Vivid dreaming, Anxiety, Incoherent or confused speech, Confusion, Rash behaviour, Uncontrolled laughing or crying, Verbal aggression, Talking to oneself, Depression, Dull shallow face, Aggression, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Chest pain, Rapid respiration... see more Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang | Wen Dan Tang | Zhi Bao Dan | Hui Chun Dan
Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart Insomnia, Palpitations, Flushed face, Bitter taste in the mouth, Noisy breathing, Restlessness, Vivid dreaming, Anxiety, Incoherent or confused speech, Confusion, Rash behaviour, Uncontrolled laughing or crying, Verbal aggression, Talking to oneself, Depression, Dull shallow face, Aggression... see more Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang | Wen Dan Tang | Sheng Tie Luo Yin
Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs Insomnia, Coughing, Shortness of breath, Wheezing, Stifling sensation in the chest, Sputum, Feeling hot, Thirst, Head and body heaviness, Dizziness, Copious thick yellow sputum... see more Wen Dan Tang | Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan | Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang | Er Chen Tang | Qing Xin Li Ge Tang | Ren Shen Ge Jie San | Pi Pa Qing Fei Yin
Detailed description of the cause

Dampness

"Dampness" in TCM is a concept that describes a pattern of disharmony where the body accumulates excess moisture. Imagine the heavy, sticky feeling you get on a very humid day; that's similar to what dampness feels like internally. It can manifest as a sense of heaviness, bloating, sluggishness, or even a foggy mind. This condition is often thought to arise from environmental factors like living in a damp place, dietary habits that promote moisture in the body, or internal imbalances that hinder the body's ability to process fluids properly. In TCM, dampness can obstruct the normal flow of energy and fluids in the body, leading to various symptoms.... see more

Dampness Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Vulvar Itching Dark Urine Excessive Vaginal Discharge Foul-Smelling Vaginal Discharge Sticky Vaginal Discharge Vaginal Itching Yellow Vaginal Discharge Painful Intercourse

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel Insomnia, Vulvar itching, Yellow vaginal discharge, Painful intercourse, Restlessness, Irritability, Dark urine, Excessive vaginal discharge, Foul-Smelling vaginal discharge, Sticky vaginal discharge, Vaginal itching... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Spleen Deficiency with Dampness Insomnia, Edema, Feeling of heaviness, Diarrhea, Urinary dysfunction, Glomerulonephritis, Kidney infection, Nephrotic syndrome, Cystitis, Hydrocele, Migraine... see more Liu Jun Zi Tang | Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin
Detailed description of the cause

Yang Deficiency

Yang deficiency in TCM refers to a state where the body's Yang energy, which is responsible for warmth, activity, and function, is weakened or diminished. This pattern of disharmony often arises from chronic illness, aging, or inherent constitutional weakness. Symptoms of Yang deficiency are typically associated with cold and sluggishness, such as a feeling of coldness, cold extremities, pale complexion, low energy or fatigue, and a desire for warmth. Digestive issues like poor appetite, loose stools, and water retention can also be indicative of Yang deficiency.... see more

Yang Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency Insomnia, Irritability, Restlessness, Severe heart palpitations, Cold sensation in lower limbs, Anxiety, Mental exhaustion, Dysautonomia, Hypertension... see more Jiao Tai Wan
Detailed description of the cause

Qi Rebellion

Rebellious Qi in TCM is a bit like having a rebel inside your body. Qi, which is the vital energy flowing through your body, is supposed to move in certain directions to keep everything in balance and working well. But with Rebellious Qi, this energy decides to go the opposite way. Think of it like a river flowing upstream instead of downstream. This can cause various issues like heartburn, coughing, or even headaches. It's as if the body's natural flow is disrupted, creating a kind of internal chaos. TCM focuses on correcting this flow, restoring order and balance.... see more

Qi Rebellion Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Rebellious Qi Insomnia, Hiccups, Belching, Nausea, Vomit, Coughing, Asthma Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang | Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang | Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang | Chai Hu Shu Gan San | Si Ni San
Detailed description of the cause

Cold

In TCM "Cold" as a pattern of disharmony refers to a specific type of imbalance within the body's systems, often linked to a deficiency or weakness. It's not about feeling physically cold or having a common cold, but rather a metaphorical description of certain symptoms and underlying conditions. When a TCM practitioner says someone suffers from "Cold," it usually implies that the body's Yang energy, which is warm and active, is insufficient or overpowered by Yin energy, which is cool and passive. Symptoms of Cold in TCM can include a general feeling of coldness, cold limbs, pale complexion, low energy, slow metabolism, and a preference for warmth. ... see more

Cold Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Wind Cold with Internal Heat Insomnia, Strong fever, Severe chills, Lack of sweating, Headaches, Feeling of heaviness, General sensation of tightness, Flushed face, Eye hyperemia, Dry nose, Thirst, Irritability, Hemoptysis, Mottled skin... see more Shi Gao Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Heart

In TCM the Heart is considered the "emperor" of all organs, primarily responsible for governing Blood and housing the mind, known as "Shen." It plays a crucial role in maintaining mental-emotional equilibrium and controlling the circulation of Qi and blood throughout the body. When the Heart is imbalanced or malfunctions in TCM, it can lead to a range of issues like heart palpitations, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, anxiety, and a flushed complexion. Emotional disturbances such as excessive joy or lack of joy are also seen as signs of Heart disharmony. These symptoms reflect not just physical heart conditions but also the state of one's Shen, indicating the interconnectedness of physical and emotional well-being in TCM.... see more

Heart Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Palpitations Anxiety Vivid Dreaming Poor Memory Restlessness Dizziness Night Sweats Easily Startled

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Heart Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Night sweats, Feeling of uneasiness, Feeling hot, Heat sensation in palms Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Ren Shen Dang Gui Tang
Heart Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Easily startled, Vivid dreaming Gui Pi Tang | Si Wu Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang | Shen Qi Si Wu Tang | Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang 1 | Gan Mai Da Zao Tang | Zhen Xin An Shen Tang
Heart Fire blazing Insomnia, Palpitations, Thirst, Mouth ulcers, Tongue ulcers, Restlessness, Anxiety, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Hematuria, Dark urine, Bitter taste in the mouth... see more Xie Xin Tang | Zi Xue Dan | Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin
Kidneys And Heart Not Harmonized Insomnia, Palpitations, Restlessness, Vivid dreaming, Anxiety, Poor memory, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Nocturnal emissions with dreams, Evening heat sensation, Dry mouth and throat at night, Preference for sipping, Night sweats, Heat sensation in palms, Scanty and dark urine, Dry stools... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Jiao Tai Wan | Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin
Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Dizziness, Vivid dreaming, Poor memory, Anxiety, Easily startled, Dull pale complexion, Pale lips, Blurry vision, Eye floaters, Night blindness, Tingling of limbs, Limb numbness, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Muscle cramps, Muscle weakness, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Depression, Lack of direction, Withered and brittle nails... see more Gui Pi Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang | Sheng Yu Tang | Zhen Zhu Mu Wan
Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart Insomnia, Palpitations, Flushed face, Bitter taste in the mouth, Noisy breathing, Restlessness, Vivid dreaming, Anxiety, Incoherent or confused speech, Confusion, Rash behaviour, Uncontrolled laughing or crying, Verbal aggression, Talking to oneself, Depression, Dull shallow face, Aggression... see more Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang | Wen Dan Tang | Sheng Tie Luo Yin
Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Dizziness, Vivid dreaming, Poor memory, Anxiety, Easily startled, Dull pale complexion, Pale lips, Generalized fatigue, Muscle weakness, Diarrhea, Lack of appetite, Scanty menstruation... see more Gui Pi Tang
Heart Blood Deficiency with Liver Qi Stagnation Restless sleep, Confusion, Melancholia, Crying, Abnormal behavior, Insomnia, Yawning Gan Mai Da Zao Tang
Heart and Spleen Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, Anxiety, Pale face, Poor memory, Diarrhea, Scanty menstruation, Pale lips, Dizziness... see more Gui Pi Tang
Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Poor memory, Night sweats, Anxiety, Tinnitus, Dizziness, Vivid dreaming, Restlessness, Nocturnal emission... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Jiao Tai Wan | Ci Zhu Wan
Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency Insomnia, Irritability, Restlessness, Severe heart palpitations, Cold sensation in lower limbs, Anxiety, Mental exhaustion, Dysautonomia, Hypertension... see more Jiao Tai Wan
Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys Insomnia, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Palpitations, Poor memory, Lower back pain, Knee pain, Night sweats, Constipation, Menopausal hot flashes, Blurry vision... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan
Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency Restlnessness at night, Palpitations, Poor memory, Restless sleeplessness, Fever, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, Coughing, Shortness of breath, Exertional dyspnea, Weight loss... see more Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Liver

In TCM the Liver is viewed as the organ responsible for the smooth flow of Qi, Blood, and emotions throughout the body. It plays a key role in regulating mood, storing blood, supporting digestion, and ensuring the health of tendons and eyes. When the Liver malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to a range of issues such as irritability, mood swings, menstrual irregularities, eye problems, and muscular stiffness or pain. A malfunctioning Liver in TCM reflects not only physical disturbances but also emotional and mental disharmony, emphasizing the holistic approach of TCM in addressing health and wellness.... see more

Liver Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Dizziness Blurry Vision Limb Numbness Tingling Of Limbs Scanty Menstruation Amenorrhea Headaches Dry Hair

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Vertical headaches, Occipital headache, Limb numbness, Tingling of limbs, Dry eyes, Blurry vision, Dry throat, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Withered and brittle nails, Vaginal dryness, Night sweats, Dry stools, Nocturnal emission, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Late menstruation, Infertility... see more Tiao Gan Tang | Gui Shao Di Huang Tang | He Che Da Zao Wan | Zuo Gui Yin | Si Wu Tang | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Qi Ju Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan | Qing Gu San | Yi Guan Jian
Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Dizziness, Vivid dreaming, Poor memory, Anxiety, Easily startled, Dull pale complexion, Pale lips, Blurry vision, Eye floaters, Night blindness, Tingling of limbs, Limb numbness, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Muscle cramps, Muscle weakness, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Depression, Lack of direction, Withered and brittle nails... see more Gui Pi Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang | Sheng Yu Tang | Zhen Zhu Mu Wan
Liver Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Blurry vision, Dull pale complexion, Scanty menstruation, Limb numbness, Pale lips, Muscle weakness, Dizziness, Tingling of limbs, Eye floaters, Night blindness, Amenorrhea, Withered and brittle nails, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Depression, Lack of direction, Vivid dreaming... see more Si Wu Tang | Bu Gan Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang | Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan
Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Fine tremor, Facial tic, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Limb numbness, Tingling of limbs, Poor memory, Scanty menstruation... see more Si Wu Tang | Bu Gan Tang | E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang
Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising Insomnia, Tremors, Facial tic, Severe dizziness, Tinnitus, Headaches, Hypertension, Dry throat, Dry eyes, Blurry vision, Limb numbness, Tingling of limbs, Poor memory, Back pain, Oliguria, Night sweats... see more Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Qi Ju Di Huang Wan | E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang | Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang | Feng Yin Tang
Liver Yang Rising Insomnia, Headaches, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Deafness, Blurry vision, Dry mouth, Dry throat, Irritability, Exhaustion, Anger, Stiff neck, Shoulder stiffness, Stiff upper back... see more Zhen Xin An Shen Tang | Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin | Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Qi Ju Di Huang Wan | Zhen Zhu Mu Wan | Da Chai Hu Tang
Liver Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Dizziness, Limb numbness, Tingling of limbs, Blurry vision, Eye floaters, Dry eyes, Night blindness, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Dull pale complexion, Flushed cheekbones, Muscle weakness, Muscle cramps, Withered and brittle nails, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Depression, Lack of direction, Night sweats, Vivid dreaming, Afternoon fever, Hot palms and soles, Preference for sipping... see more Bu Gan Tang | Suan Zao Ren Tang | Qi Ju Di Huang Wan | Yi Guan Jian
Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Lack of appetite, Slight abdominal distension after eating, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Dull pale complexion, Weak limbs, Diarrhea, Emaciation, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Limb numbness, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Eye floaters, Night blindness, Pale lips, Muscle weakness, Muscle cramps, Withered and brittle nails, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Depression, Lack of direction... see more Gui Pi Tang | Dang Gui Shao Yao San | Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang
Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire Insomnia, Hypochondriac distention, Upper abdominal distension, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Irritability, Melancholia, Depression, Mood swings, Globus sensation, Feeling hot, Flushed face, Thirst, Anger, Pre menstrual tension, Irregular periods, Pre menstrual breast distension, Excessive menstruation... see more Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San | Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Heart Blood Deficiency with Liver Qi Stagnation Restless sleep, Confusion, Melancholia, Crying, Abnormal behavior, Insomnia, Yawning Gan Mai Da Zao Tang
Liver Yang Rising with Blood and Yin Deficiency Restless sleep, Irritability, Insomnia, Occasional palpitations, Anxiety, Dizziness Zhen Zhu Mu Wan
Deficiency of the Liver and Kidney Yin Insomnia, Sore knees, Lower back pain, Knee weakness, Dry mouth, Dry tongue, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Vivid dreaming, Hair graying, Hair loss... see more Er Zhi Wan
Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel Insomnia, Vulvar itching, Yellow vaginal discharge, Painful intercourse, Restlessness, Irritability, Dark urine, Excessive vaginal discharge, Foul-Smelling vaginal discharge, Sticky vaginal discharge, Vaginal itching... see more Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Kidney

In TCM the Kidneys are regarded as the body's most fundamental reservoir of Essence, known as Jing, which influences growth, reproduction, and aging. They are not just organs for filtering blood, but a holistic system governing vital life forces. When the Kidneys malfunction in TCM, it can manifest as a variety of health issues, such as chronic fatigue, reproductive problems, imbalances in fluid metabolism leading to edema or dryness, lower back pain, and a sense of fear or insecurity.... see more

Kidney Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Dizziness Night Sweats Tinnitus Lower Back Pain Restlessness Dry Stools Nocturnal Emission Anxiety

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Vertical headaches, Occipital headache, Limb numbness, Tingling of limbs, Dry eyes, Blurry vision, Dry throat, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Withered and brittle nails, Vaginal dryness, Night sweats, Dry stools, Nocturnal emission, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Late menstruation, Infertility... see more Tiao Gan Tang | Gui Shao Di Huang Tang | He Che Da Zao Wan | Zuo Gui Yin | Si Wu Tang | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Qi Ju Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan | Qing Gu San | Yi Guan Jian
Kidney Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Perspiration, Back pain, Hearing loss, Dry mouth and throat at night, Lower back pain, Constipation, Scanty and dark urine, Infertility, Premature ejaculation, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Depression, Anxiety, Heat sensation in palms, Evening heat sensation, Flushed cheekbones, Menopausal hot flashes, Preference for sipping, Evening anxiety... see more Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang 2 | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan | Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan | Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan
Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing Insomnia, Flushed cheekbones, Restlessness, Night sweats, Low grade fever in the afternoon, Heat sensation in palms, Afternoon heat sensation, Evening heat sensation, Scanty and dark urine, Hematuria, Dry throat, Preference for sipping, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Nocturnal emission, Hypersexuality, Dry stools... see more Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan
Kidneys And Heart Not Harmonized Insomnia, Palpitations, Restlessness, Vivid dreaming, Anxiety, Poor memory, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Lower back pain, Nocturnal emissions with dreams, Evening heat sensation, Dry mouth and throat at night, Preference for sipping, Night sweats, Heat sensation in palms, Scanty and dark urine, Dry stools... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Jiao Tai Wan | Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin
Lesser Yin Heat Transformation Insomnia, Feeling hot, Irritability, Dry mouth and throat at night, Dark urine, Night sweats... see more Huang Lian E Jiao Tang
Deficiency of the Liver and Kidney Yin Insomnia, Sore knees, Lower back pain, Knee weakness, Dry mouth, Dry tongue, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Vivid dreaming, Hair graying, Hair loss... see more Er Zhi Wan
Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Poor memory, Night sweats, Anxiety, Tinnitus, Dizziness, Vivid dreaming, Restlessness, Nocturnal emission... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Jiao Tai Wan | Ci Zhu Wan
Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency Insomnia, Irritability, Restlessness, Severe heart palpitations, Cold sensation in lower limbs, Anxiety, Mental exhaustion, Dysautonomia, Hypertension... see more Jiao Tai Wan
Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys Insomnia, Dizziness, Tinnitus, Palpitations, Poor memory, Lower back pain, Knee pain, Night sweats, Constipation, Menopausal hot flashes, Blurry vision... see more Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan | Liu Wei Di Huang Wan
Detailed description of the cause

Spleen

In TCM the Spleen plays a vital role in digestion and transformation, converting food into energy and nutrients, and overseeing the distribution of Qi and Blood. It's also crucial in maintaining the health of muscles and limbs and ensuring the blood remains within the vessels. When the Spleen malfunctions in TCM, it can lead to a variety of issues such as digestive disorders, fatigue, weak muscles, bloating, and a feeling of heaviness. It can also cause a pale complexion, poor appetite, and a tendency to bruise easily. Emotionally, a Spleen imbalance is often associated with excessive worry or overthinking, reflecting its role in the interplay between physical and mental health.... see more

Spleen Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Generalized Fatigue Lack Of Appetite Diarrhea Scanty Menstruation Palpitations Poor Memory Pale Lips Dizziness

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Dizziness, Vivid dreaming, Poor memory, Anxiety, Easily startled, Dull pale complexion, Pale lips, Generalized fatigue, Muscle weakness, Diarrhea, Lack of appetite, Scanty menstruation... see more Gui Pi Tang
Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Lack of appetite, Slight abdominal distension after eating, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Dull pale complexion, Weak limbs, Diarrhea, Emaciation, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Limb numbness, Dizziness, Blurry vision, Eye floaters, Night blindness, Pale lips, Muscle weakness, Muscle cramps, Withered and brittle nails, Dry hair, Skin dryness, Depression, Lack of direction... see more Gui Pi Tang | Dang Gui Shao Yao San | Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang
Spleen Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, General weakness, Pale face, Weak limbs, Diarrhea, Depression, Emaciation, Scanty menstruation, Amenorrhea, Slight abdominal distension after eating... see more Gui Pi Tang
Heart and Spleen Deficiency Insomnia, Palpitations, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, Anxiety, Pale face, Poor memory, Diarrhea, Scanty menstruation, Pale lips, Dizziness... see more Gui Pi Tang
Spleen Deficiency with Dampness Insomnia, Edema, Feeling of heaviness, Diarrhea, Urinary dysfunction, Glomerulonephritis, Kidney infection, Nephrotic syndrome, Cystitis, Hydrocele, Migraine... see more Liu Jun Zi Tang | Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin
Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency Restlnessness at night, Palpitations, Poor memory, Restless sleeplessness, Fever, Lack of appetite, Generalized fatigue, Coughing, Shortness of breath, Exertional dyspnea, Weight loss... see more Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang
Detailed description of the cause

Pericardium

In TCM the Pericardium is more than a physical membrane protecting the heart; it's considered an organ system that acts as the "Heart's protector." It plays a crucial role in safeguarding the heart from external pathogenic factors and emotional disturbances. The Pericardium is also involved in regulating blood circulation and influencing emotional well-being, especially in terms of relationships and intimacy. When the Pericardium malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to symptoms that mirror heart issues, such as chest pain or palpitations, but often with an emotional component like difficulty in forming emotional connections or excessive vulnerability to external stressors. Additionally, a disturbed Pericardium can result in sleep disturbances, anxiety, and in severe cases, mental confusion, reflecting its integral role in both physical heart protection and emotional balance.... see more

Pericardium Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Palpitations Anxiety Vivid Dreaming Chest Pain Bitter Taste In The Mouth Thirst Rapid Respiration Restlessness

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Pericardium Blood Deficiency Insomnia, Chest distension, Chest stiffness, Chest pain, Palpitations, Poor memory Shen Qi Si Wu Tang
Pericardium Fire Insomnia, Palpitations, Stifling sensation in the chest, Bitter taste in the mouth, Thirst, Mouth ulcers, Tongue ulcers, Cardiac burning sensation, Rapid respiration, Restlessness, Anxiety, Feeling hot, Vivid dreaming, Excessive menstruation... see more Xie Xin Tang | Zi Xue Dan
Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium Insomnia, Palpitations, Flushed face, Bitter taste in the mouth, Noisy breathing, Restlessness, Vivid dreaming, Anxiety, Incoherent or confused speech, Confusion, Rash behaviour, Uncontrolled laughing or crying, Verbal aggression, Talking to oneself, Depression, Dull shallow face, Aggression, Feeling of oppression of the chest, Chest pain, Rapid respiration... see more Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang | Wen Dan Tang | Zhi Bao Dan | Hui Chun Dan
Detailed description of the cause

Lung

In TCM the Lungs are seen as the organ responsible for controlling Qi and respiration, as well as being a key part of the body's defensive system. They are thought to maintain the balance and flow of air and moisture, and are closely linked to the skin and hair. When the Lungs are imbalanced or malfunctioning in TCM, it can lead to respiratory issues like coughing or asthma, a weakened immune system, dry skin, and emotional disturbances such as sadness or grief. These symptoms are believed to arise from disruptions in the Lungs' ability to regulate Qi and protect the body, highlighting their central role in maintaining overall health and well-being.... see more

Lung Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Common Symptoms: Pneumonia Asthma Peptic Ulcer Shortness Of Breath Chest Pain Hoarse Voice Itchy Throat Reluctance To Speak

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Lung Yin Deficiency Insomnia, Hoarse voice, Itchy throat, Reluctance to speak, Thin chest Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang | Qing Zao Jiu Fei Tang | Bu Fei E Jiao Tang | Jiu Xian San
Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs Insomnia, Coughing, Shortness of breath, Wheezing, Stifling sensation in the chest, Sputum, Feeling hot, Thirst, Head and body heaviness, Dizziness, Copious thick yellow sputum... see more Wen Dan Tang | Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan | Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang | Er Chen Tang | Qing Xin Li Ge Tang | Ren Shen Ge Jie San | Pi Pa Qing Fei Yin
Detailed description of the cause

Stomach

In TCM the Stomach is regarded as the "sea of nourishment," pivotal for digesting food and transforming it into Qi and blood. It works closely with the Spleen to distribute these essential nutrients throughout the body. When the Stomach is out of balance or malfunctions in TCM, it often leads to digestive problems such as bloating, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, or a feeling of fullness. There may also be issues like acid reflux or a sour taste in the mouth. Emotionally, an imbalanced Stomach can contribute to excessive worry and overthinking, reflecting the TCM belief that physical and emotional well-being are deeply interconnected.... see more

Stomach Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Food Stagnation in the Stomach Insomnia, Epigastric fullness and pain relieved by vomiting, Nausea, Vomiting of sour fluids, Bad breath, Acid reflux, Belching, Alternating diarrhea and constipation, Lack of appetite, Abdominal pain due to overeating... see more Bao He Wan | Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan | Gua Di San
Detailed description of the cause

Small Intestine

In TCM the Small Intestine plays a critical role in receiving partially digested food from the Stomach and further separating the clear from the turbid, essentially distinguishing nutrients from waste. This process is vital for proper absorption and assimilation of food. The Small Intestine is also associated with clarity of judgment and decision-making. When it malfunctions or is imbalanced in TCM, it can lead to digestive issues such as abdominal pain, bloating, poor appetite, or irregular bowel movements. Additionally, a malfunctioning Small Intestine may manifest as mental confusion or difficulty in making decisions, reflecting its role in discernment and clarity in both physical and mental realms. ... see more

Small Intestine Patterns That Can Lead to Insomnia

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Full-Heat in the Small Intestine Insomnia, Restlessness, Tongue ulcers, Mouth ulcers, Throat pain, Deafness, Cardiac burning sensation, Abdominal pain, Craving for cold beverages, Scanty and dark urine, Hematuria, Urinary burning... see more Dao Chi San

TCM Herbal Formulas for Insomnia

In treating insomnia, TCM employs various formulas based on the identified patterns. For Heat-related insomnia, formulas like Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan, which nourishes the Heart and calms the mind, are used. This formula includes herbs like Unprepared Rehmannia to cool the Blood.

For Blood Deficiency patterns, formulas like Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang and Gui Pi Tang, which tonify Qi and Blood, are recommended. These treatments aim to restore balance within the body, addressing the specific imbalances causing insomnia.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address insomnia, organized by cause and by formula type.

  • By Cause
  • By Formula Type
  • Heat
  • Blood Deficiency
  • Yin Deficiency
  • Qi Deficiency
  • Mind Disturbance
  • Wind
  • Yang Excess
  • Qi Stagnation
  • Blood Stasis
  • Phlegm
  • Dampness
  • Yang Deficiency
  • Qi Rebellion
  • Cold
  • Formulas that nourish yin and tonify
  • Formulas that tonify blood
  • Formulas that nourish the heart and calm the mind
  • Formulas that clear heat from deficiency
  • Formulas that clear heat from the organs
  • Formulas that pacify and extinguish internal wind
  • Formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation
  • Formulas that tonify yin and yang
  • Formulas that tonify qi
  • Formulas that tonify qi and blood
  • Formulas that sedate and calm the mind
  • Formulas that clear heat and open sensory orifices
  • Formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm
  • Formulas for a rebellious qi
  • Formulas that reduce food accumulation and transform stagnation
  • Formulas that clear heat and resolve toxicity
  • Formulas that clear nutritive-level heat
  • Formulas that clear heat and transform phlegm
  • Formulas that tonify
  • Formulas that vent membrane source
  • Formulas that induce vomiting
  • Formulas that secure irregular uterine bleeding and stop vaginal discharge
  • Formulas that stop bleeding
  • Formulas that clear heat from qi and blood
  • Formulas that dredge and disperse external wind
  • Formulas that release the exterior and purge the interior
  • Formulas that enrich yin and moisten dryness
  • Formulas that disperse dryness and moisten
  • Formulas that secure lungs and stop coughing
  • Formulas that clear internal abscesses and sores
  • Formulas that clear lung-Heat
  • Formulas that promote qi movement
  • Formulas that harmonize liver-Spleen
  • Formulas that clear liver-Heat
  • Formulas that warm and transform water and dampness
  • Formulas that release the exterior and clear the interior
  • Formulas that stabilize exterior and stop sweating
  • Formulas that clear qi-level heat

All Formulas Recommended for Insomnia Caused by Heat

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Wen Dan Tang Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium, Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart, Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs... see more
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing, Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys... see more
Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys... see more
Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency
Huang Lian E Jiao Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Lesser Yin Heat Transformation
Xie Xin Tang Heart Fire blazing, Pericardium Fire
Zi Xue Dan Heart Fire blazing, Pericardium Fire
Qing Ying Tang Heat in Nutritive Qi level, Heat in the Blood
Bai He Di Huang Tang Heat in Nutritive Qi level, Heat in the Blood
Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium, Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire, Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel
Suan Zao Ren Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin Heart Fire blazing
Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing
Dang Gui Liu Huang Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Dao Chi San Full-Heat in the Small Intestine
Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang Heat in the Blood
Gu Jing Wan Heat in the Blood
Shi Hui San Heat in the Blood
Hua Ban Tang Heat in the Blood
Qing Re Gu Jing Tang Heat in the Blood
Zhi Bao Dan Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium
Hui Chun Dan Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium
Sheng Tie Luo Yin Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart
Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Er Chen Tang Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Qing Xin Li Ge Tang Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Ren Shen Ge Jie San Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Pi Pa Qing Fei Yin Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire
Shi Gao Tang Wind Cold with Internal Heat

All Formulas Recommended for Insomnia Caused by Blood Deficiency

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Gui Pi Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency, Blood Deficiency, Heart and Spleen Deficiency, Heart Blood Deficiency, Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency, Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency, Spleen Blood Deficiency... see more
Si Wu Tang Blood Deficiency, Heart Blood Deficiency, Liver Blood Deficiency, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency, Blood Deficiency and Stagnation... see more
Suan Zao Ren Tang Heart Blood Deficiency, Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency, Liver Blood Deficiency
Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency, Blood Deficiency, Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency... see more
Bu Gan Tang Liver Blood Deficiency, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency... see more
Zhen Zhu Mu Wan Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency, Liver Yang Rising with Blood and Yin Deficiency... see more
Shen Qi Si Wu Tang Heart Blood Deficiency, Pericardium Blood Deficiency
Gan Mai Da Zao Tang Heart Blood Deficiency, Heart Blood Deficiency with Liver Qi Stagnation
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan Blood Deficiency
Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan Yin and Blood Deficiency
E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency
Zhen Xin An Shen Tang Heart Blood Deficiency
Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan Liver Blood Deficiency
Shi Quan Da Bu Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency
Ba Zhen Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency
Guo Qi Yin Qi and Blood Deficiency
Zhi Gan Cao Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency
Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang Blood Deficiency
Da Bu Yuan Jian Blood Deficiency
Ren Shen Zi Xie Tang Blood Deficiency
Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang 1 Heart Blood Deficiency
Sheng Yu Tang Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency
Tao Hong Si Wu Tang Blood Deficiency and Stagnation

All Formulas Recommended for Insomnia Caused by Yin Deficiency

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Kidney Yin Deficiency, Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing, Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys, Yin Deficiency... see more
Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan Heart Yin Deficiency, Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency, Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys, Yin and Blood Deficiency... see more
Zuo Gui Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Kidney Yin Deficiency, Yin Deficiency
Qi Ju Di Huang Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Liver Yin Deficiency
Suan Zao Ren Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Liver Yin Deficiency
Yi Guan Jian Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Liver Yin Deficiency
Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency
Huang Lian E Jiao Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Lesser Yin Heat Transformation
Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan Kidney Yin Deficiency, Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing
Si Wu Tang Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency
Bu Gan Tang Liver Yin Deficiency
Jiao Tai Wan Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency
Zhen Zhu Mu Wan Liver Yang Rising with Blood and Yin Deficiency
Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan Kidney Yin Deficiency
Ren Shen Dang Gui Tang Heart Yin Deficiency
Tiao Gan Tang Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency
Gui Shao Di Huang Tang Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency
He Che Da Zao Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency
Zuo Gui Yin Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency
Qing Gu San Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency
Dang Gui Liu Huang Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Er Zhi Wan Deficiency of the Liver and Kidney Yin
Ci Zhu Wan Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency
Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang 2 Kidney Yin Deficiency
Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang Lung Yin Deficiency
Qing Zao Jiu Fei Tang Lung Yin Deficiency
Bu Fei E Jiao Tang Lung Yin Deficiency
Jiu Xian San Lung Yin Deficiency
Mu Li San Yin Deficiency

All Formulas Recommended for Insomnia Caused by Qi Deficiency

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Gui Pi Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency, Heart and Spleen Deficiency
Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency, Heart and Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency
Shi Quan Da Bu Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency
Ba Zhen Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency
Guo Qi Yin Qi and Blood Deficiency
Zhi Gan Cao Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency
Liu Jun Zi Tang Spleen Deficiency with Dampness
Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin Spleen Deficiency with Dampness

All Formulas Recommended for Insomnia Caused by Mind Disturbance

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Wen Dan Tang Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium, Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart
Xie Xin Tang Heart Fire blazing, Pericardium Fire
Zi Xue Dan Heart Fire blazing, Pericardium Fire
Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium, Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart
Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin Heart Fire blazing
Zhi Bao Dan Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium
Hui Chun Dan Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium
Sheng Tie Luo Yin Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart

All Formulas Recommended for Insomnia Caused by Wind

Formula Patterns Suitable For
E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang Interior Wind, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising... see more
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan Interior Wind, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising
Si Wu Tang Interior Wind, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency
Qi Ju Di Huang Wan Interior Wind, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising
Bu Gan Tang Interior Wind, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency
Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin Interior Wind, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising
Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang Interior Wind, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising
Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang Interior Wind
Feng Yin Tang Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising
Shi Gao Tang Wind Cold with Internal Heat

All Formulas Recommended for Insomnia Caused by Yang Excess

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising, Liver Yang Rising
Qi Ju Di Huang Wan Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising, Liver Yang Rising
Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising, Liver Yang Rising
Zhen Zhu Mu Wan Liver Yang Rising, Liver Yang Rising with Blood and Yin Deficiency
E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising
Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising
Zhen Xin An Shen Tang Liver Yang Rising
Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang Liver Yang Rising
Feng Yin Tang Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising
Da Chai Hu Tang Liver Yang Rising

All Formulas Recommended for Insomnia Caused by Qi Stagnation

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire
Gan Mai Da Zao Tang Heart Blood Deficiency with Liver Qi Stagnation
Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Wen Jing Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan Qi And Blood Stagnation
Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire

All Formulas Recommended for Insomnia Caused by Blood Stasis

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Gui Pi Tang Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency
Si Wu Tang Blood Deficiency and Stagnation
Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Wen Jing Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan Qi And Blood Stagnation
Tao Hong Si Wu Tang Blood Deficiency and Stagnation
Dang Gui Shao Yao San Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency
Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency

All Formulas Recommended for Insomnia Caused by Phlegm

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Wen Dan Tang Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium, Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart, Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs... see more
Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium, Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart
Zhi Bao Dan Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium
Hui Chun Dan Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium
Sheng Tie Luo Yin Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart
Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Er Chen Tang Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Qing Xin Li Ge Tang Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Ren Shen Ge Jie San Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Pi Pa Qing Fei Yin Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs

All Formulas Recommended for Insomnia Caused by Dampness

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel
Liu Jun Zi Tang Spleen Deficiency with Dampness
Bi Xie Fen Qing Yin Spleen Deficiency with Dampness

All Formulas Recommended for Insomnia Caused by Qi Rebellion

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang Rebellious Qi
Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang Rebellious Qi
Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang Rebellious Qi
Chai Hu Shu Gan San Rebellious Qi
Si Ni San Rebellious Qi

All "formulas that nourish the heart and calm the mind" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan Heart Yin Deficiency, Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency, Kidneys And Heart Not Harmonized, Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys, Yin and Blood Deficiency... see more
Suan Zao Ren Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Heart Blood Deficiency, Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency, Liver Blood Deficiency, Liver Yin Deficiency... see more
Jiao Tai Wan Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency, Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency, Kidneys And Heart Not Harmonized... see more
Huang Lian E Jiao Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Lesser Yin Heat Transformation
Gan Mai Da Zao Tang Heart Blood Deficiency, Heart Blood Deficiency with Liver Qi Stagnation
Zhen Xin An Shen Tang Heart Blood Deficiency, Liver Yang Rising
Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang 2 Kidney Yin Deficiency
Bai Zi Yang Xin Tang 1 Heart Blood Deficiency

All "formulas that nourish yin and tonify" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan Interior Wind, Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Kidney Yin Deficiency, Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing, Blood Deficiency, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising, Liver Yang Rising, Disharmony between Heart and Kidneys, Yin Deficiency... see more
Qi Ju Di Huang Wan Interior Wind, Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising, Liver Yang Rising, Liver Yin Deficiency... see more
Zuo Gui Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Kidney Yin Deficiency, Yin Deficiency
Yi Guan Jian Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Liver Yin Deficiency
Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan Kidney Yin Deficiency, Kidney Yin Deficiency With Empty-Heat Blazing
Tiao Gan Tang Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency
Gui Shao Di Huang Tang Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency
Zuo Gui Yin Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency
Er Zhi Wan Deficiency of the Liver and Kidney Yin
Da Bu Yuan Jian Blood Deficiency
Bu Fei E Jiao Tang Lung Yin Deficiency
Ren Shen Dang Gui Tang Heart Yin Deficiency

All "formulas that tonify blood" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Si Wu Tang Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, Blood Deficiency, Heart Blood Deficiency, Interior Wind, Liver Blood Deficiency, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency, Blood Deficiency and Stagnation... see more
Bu Gan Tang Interior Wind, Liver Blood Deficiency, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency, Liver Yin Deficiency... see more
Shen Qi Si Wu Tang Heart Blood Deficiency, Pericardium Blood Deficiency
Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang Blood Deficiency
Sheng Yu Tang Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency
Guo Qi Yin Qi and Blood Deficiency
Ren Shen Zi Xie Tang Blood Deficiency
Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency
Tao Hong Si Wu Tang Blood Deficiency and Stagnation

All "formulas that tonify qi and blood" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Gui Pi Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency, Heart and Spleen Deficiency, Heart Blood Deficiency, Blood Deficiency, Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency, Spleen and Heart Blood Deficiency, Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency, Spleen Blood Deficiency... see more
Ba Zhen Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency
Zhi Gan Cao Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency

All "formulas that clear heat from the organs" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Qing Xin Lian Zi Yin Heart Fire blazing, Kidneys And Heart Not Harmonized
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang Stagnant Liver Qi turning into Fire, Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel
Dao Chi San Full-Heat in the Small Intestine
Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Xie Qing Wan Not applicable

All "formulas that clear heat from deficiency" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency, Empty-Heat caused by Yin Deficiency
Bai He Di Huang Tang Heat in Nutritive Qi level, Heat in the Blood
Dang Gui Liu Huang Tang Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency
Qing Re Gu Jing Tang Heat in the Blood
Qing Gu San Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

All "formulas that sedate and calm the mind" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Zhen Zhu Mu Wan Liver and Heart Blood Deficiency, Liver Yang Rising, Liver Yang Rising with Blood and Yin Deficiency... see more
Ci Zhu Wan Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency
Sheng Tie Luo Yin Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart

All "formulas that pacify and extinguish internal wind" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin Interior Wind, Liver Yang Rising, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising... see more
E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang Interior Wind, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Blood Deficiency, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising... see more
Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang Interior Wind, Liver Yang Rising
Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang Interior Wind, Liver Wind agitating Internally due to Liver Yang Rising

All "formulas that tonify yin and yang" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan Kidney Yin Deficiency, Liver Blood Deficiency
Shi Quan Da Bu Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency
He Che Da Zao Wan Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency

All "formulas that tonify qi" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang Qi and Blood Deficiency
Ren Shen Ge Jie San Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Liu Jun Zi Tang Spleen Deficiency with Dampness

All "formulas that clear heat and open sensory orifices" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Zi Xue Dan Heart Fire blazing, Pericardium Fire
Zhi Bao Dan Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium
Hui Chun Dan Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium

All "formulas that dry dampness and transform phlegm" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Wen Dan Tang Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium, Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart, Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs... see more
Huang Lian Wen Dan Tang Phlegm Fire harassing the Pericardium, Phlegm-Fire harassing the Heart
Er Chen Tang Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs

All "formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Wen Jing Tang Qi And Blood Stagnation
Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan Qi And Blood Stagnation
Dang Gui Shao Yao San Spleen and Liver Blood Deficiency

All "formulas that clear heat and resolve toxicity" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Xie Xin Tang Heart Fire blazing, Pericardium Fire
Huang Lian Jiao Du Tang Not applicable

All "formulas that clear nutritive-level heat" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Qing Ying Tang Heat in Nutritive Qi level, Heat in the Blood
Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang Heat in the Blood

All "formulas for a rebellious qi" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang Rebellious Qi
Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang Rebellious Qi
Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang Rebellious Qi

All "formulas that reduce food accumulation and transform stagnation" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Bao He Wan Food Stagnation in the Stomach
Zhi Shi Dao Zhi Wan Food Stagnation in the Stomach

All "formulas that clear heat and transform phlegm" recommended for insomnia

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan Phlegm-Heat in the Lungs
Xiao Xian Xiong Tang Not applicable

Acupoints for Insomnia

Acupuncture is another key component of TCM treatment for insomnia. Acupoints like Gaohuangshu BL-43 and Hunmen BL-47 on the Bladder Channel are used for their actions in nourishing Lung Yin and resolving Liver Qi Stagnation, respectively. Points such as Daling P-7 and Laogong P-8 on the Pericardium Channel are chosen for their ability to calm the mind and clear Heart Fire.

AAdditionally, Sishengcong EX-HN-1 and Yintang EX-HN-3 are used for their mind-calming effects. These acupoints are selected based on their potential to target the underlying causes of insomnia, demonstrating TCM's comprehensive approach to treatment.

Explore below some acupoints used to address insomnia, organized by meridian.

  • By Meridian
  • Bladder Channel
  • Pericardium Channel
  • Extra Points: Head and Neck (EX-HN)
  • Spleen Channel
  • Kidney Channel
  • Directing Vessel
  • Governing Vessel
  • Heart Channel
  • Gall Bladder Channel
  • Stomach Channel
  • Liver Channel
  • Lung Channel
Jingming BL-1

Jingming BL-1

0.1 cun superior and medial to the inner canthus.

Xinshu BL-15

Xinshu BL-15

1.5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 5th thoracic vertebra (T5).

Gaohuangshu BL-43

Gaohuangshu BL-43

3 cun (about 4 finger-breadths) lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 4th thoracic vertebra (T4).

Shentang BL-44

Shentang BL-44

3 cun (about 4 finger-breadths) lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 5th thoracic vertebra (T5).

Hunmen BL-47

Hunmen BL-47

3 cun (about 4 finger-breadths) lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 9th thoracic vertebra (T9).

Shenmai BL-62

Shenmai BL-62

In the depression directly below the lateral malleolus tip.

Jinggu BL-64

Jinggu BL-64

On the lateral side of the foot dorsum, below the tuberosity of the 5th metatarsal bone, at the border of the red and white skin.

Ximen P-4

Ximen P-4

5 cun above the transverse crease of the wrist, on the line connecting Quze P-3 and Daling P-7, between the tendons of palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis muscles.

Neiguan P-6

Neiguan P-6

2 cun above Daling P-7 on the transverse crease of the wrist, between the tendons of palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis muscle.

Daling P-7

Daling P-7

In the depression in the middle of the transverse crease of the wrist, between the tendons of palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis muscle.

Laogong P-8

Laogong P-8

In the center of the palm, between the 2nd and the 3rd metacarpal bones, proximal to the metacarpophalangeal joint.

Zhongchong P-9

Zhongchong P-9

In the center of the tip of the middle finger.

Sishengcong EX-HN-1

Sishengcong EX-HN-1

This is a group of 4 points and each located 1 cun from Baihui DU-20 in the anterior, posterior and lateral direction.

Yintang EX-HN-3

Yintang EX-HN-3

Yintang EX-HN-3 is between the eyebrows and on the anterior midline.

Yiming EX-HN-14

Yiming EX-HN-14

Posterior to the mastoid bone, at the junction of the neck and the occiput.

Anmian EX-HN

Anmian EX-HN

Posterior to the ear and to the mastoid process, between Yifeng TB-17 and Fengchi GB-20.

Yinbai SP-1

Yinbai SP-1

On the medial side of the big toe, about 0.1 cun posterior to the corner of the nail.

Dadu SP-2

Dadu SP-2

On the medial aspect of the big toe, at the junction of the shaft and the base of the proximal phalanx, distal to the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint.

Gongsun SP-4

Gongsun SP-4

In the depression distal and inferior to the base of the 1st metatarsal bone, at the border of the red and white skin.

Sanyinjiao SP-6

Sanyinjiao SP-6

3 cun directly above the tip of the medial malleolus, on the posterior border of the tibia, on the line drawn from the medial malleolus to Yinlingquan SP-9.

Yongquan KID-1

Yongquan KID-1

In the depression between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones on the sole when the foot is in plantar flexion, approximately at the junction of the anterior and middle third of the sole.

Taixi KID-3

Taixi KID-3

In the depression between the medial malleolus tip and Achilles tendon (Calcaneal tendon), level with the tip of the medial malleolus.

Zhaohai KID-6

Zhaohai KID-6

Approximately 1 cun below the medial malleolus tip, over the joint space between the talus and the calcaneus.

Zhubin KID-9

Zhubin KID-9

On the line drawn from Taixi KID-3 to Yingu KID-10. It is located at the lower end of the belly of gastrocnemius muscle in the medial aspect, about 5 cun above Taixi KID-3.

Guanyuan REN-4

Guanyuan REN-4

On the midline of the abdomen, 3 cun below the umbilicus.

Juque REN-14

Juque REN-14

On the midline of the abdomen, 6 cun above the umbilicus and 2 cun below the sternocostal angle.

Jiuwei REN-15

Jiuwei REN-15

On the midline of the abdomen, 7 cun above the umbilicus and 1 cun below the sternocostal angle. This point is located at the tip of the xiphoid process, which is commonly known as ‘dove-tail’ in China, hence the name of the point.

Qiangjian DU-18

Qiangjian DU-18

On the posterior midline, 1.5 cun above Naohu DU-17, midway between Fengfu DU-16 and Baihui DU-20.

Houding DU-19

Houding DU-19

On the head midline, 1.5 cun above Qiangjian DU-18 or 1.5 cun posterior to Baihui DU-20.

Shenting DU-24

Shenting DU-24

On the head midline, 0.5 cun above the anterior hairline.

Jiquan HE-1

Jiquan HE-1

In the center of the axilla, on the medial side of the axillary artery.

Shenmen HE-7

Shenmen HE-7

On the transverse crease of the wrist, in the articular region between the pisiform bone and the ulna, in the depression on the radial side of the tendon of flexor carpi ulnaris muscle.

Shaofu HE-8

Shaofu HE-8

On the palmar surface, between the 4th and 5th metacarpal bones. When a fist is made, the point is where the tip of the little finger rests.

Wangu GB-12

Wangu GB-12

In the depression posterior and inferior to the mastoid process.

Zhejin GB-23

Zhejin GB-23

1 cun anterior to Yuanye GB-22, approximately level with the nipple.

Zuqiaoyin GB-44

Zuqiaoyin GB-44

On the lateral side of the 4th toe, about 0.1 cun posterior to the corner of the nail.

Yingchuang ST-16

Yingchuang ST-16

In the 3nd intercostal space, on the mammillary line, 4 cun lateral to the anterior midline.

Lidui ST-45

Lidui ST-45

On the lateral side of the 2nd toe, about 0.1 cun posterior to the corner of nail.

Xingjian LIV-2

Xingjian LIV-2

Between the first and second toe, on the dorsum of the foot, 0.5 cun proximal to the interdigital fold.

Taichong LIV-3

Taichong LIV-3

On the dorsum of the foot, between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones, in the depression proximal to the metatarsophalangeal joints and the proximal angle between the two bones.

Tianfu LU-3

Tianfu LU-3

On the medial aspect of the upper arm, 3 cun below the end of the axillary fold and 6 cun above Chize LU-5, in the depression on the lateral border of biceps muscle.