Insomnia with very restless sleep

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Insomnia with very restless sleep can be the consequence of several so-called “patterns of disharmony” in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted, leading to symptoms or signs that something is wrong (like insomnia with very restless sleep here). It is similar to the concept of disease in Western Medicine but not quite: a Western disease can often be explained by several Chinese patterns and vice-versa.

A pattern often manifests itself in a combination of symptoms that, at first glance, do not seem necessarily related to each others. For instance here insomnia with very restless sleep is often associated with fatigue, dry stools and anxiety in the pattern “Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency”. As you will see below, we have in record two patterns that can cause insomnia with very restless sleep.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of insomnia with very restless sleep we’ve identified three herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.

We’ve also selected below the five medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat insomnia with very restless sleep.

The two "patterns of disharmony" that can cause insomnia with very restless sleep

In Chinese Medicine insomnia with very restless sleep is a symptom for 2 patterns that we have on record. Below is a small explanation for each of them with links for more details.

Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Empty (Xu), Floating (Fu)

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

When Yin Deficiency lasts for a long it may lead to Interior Heat

In addition to insomnia with very restless sleep, other symptoms associated with Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency include fatigue, dry stools and anxiety.

Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency is often treated with Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang, a herbal formula made of 5 herbs (including Softshell Turtle Shells - Bie Jia - as a key herb). Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat from deficiency", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nourishes the Yin and clears Heat".

Read more about Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency here

Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) is the king ingredient for Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan, a formula used for Yin and Blood Deficiency

Yin and Blood Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Fine (Xi)

Tongue coating: Partial absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

In addition to insomnia with very restless sleep, other symptoms associated with Yin and Blood Deficiency include fatigue, dry stools and irritability.

Yin and Blood Deficiency is often treated with Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan, a herbal formula made of 14 herbs (including Unprepared Rehmannia - Di Huang - as a key herb). Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish the heart and calm the mind", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nutritive tonic: Nourishes Yin, Blood and Vital Essence of the Heart and Kidney".

Read more about Yin and Blood Deficiency here

Three herbal formulas that might help with insomnia with very restless sleep

Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan

Source date: 16th century

Number of ingredients: 14 herbs

Key actions: Nutritive tonic: Nourishes Yin, Blood and Vital Essence of the Heart and Kidney. Clears away pathogenic Heat, clears Deficient Heat. Sedative.

Why might Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan help with insomnia with very restless sleep?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Yin and Blood Deficiency' of which insomnia with very restless sleep is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Yin And Blood Deficiency include fatigue, dry stools and irritability.

Read more about Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan here

Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang

Source date: 1798 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Yin and clears Heat.

Why might Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang help with insomnia with very restless sleep?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency' of which insomnia with very restless sleep is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Empty-Heat Or Fire Caused By Yin Deficiency include fatigue, dry stools and anxiety.

Read more about Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang here

Huang Lian E Jiao Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Enriches the Yin. Causes Fire to descend. Eliminates irritability. Calms the spirit.

Why might Huang Lian E Jiao Tang help with insomnia with very restless sleep?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency' of which insomnia with very restless sleep is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Empty-Heat Or Fire Caused By Yin Deficiency include fatigue, dry stools and anxiety.

Read more about Huang Lian E Jiao Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat insomnia with very restless sleep

Why might Unprepared Rehmannia (Di Huang) help with insomnia with very restless sleep?

Because Unprepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat insomnia with very restless sleep as a symptom, like Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan or Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang for instance.

Unprepared Rehmannia is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Expels Heat by Cooling Blood. Tonifies Yin by promoting Fluid production. Soothes the Heart by calming Blazing Fire. Cools and nourishes.

Read more about Unprepared Rehmannia here

Why might Donkey-Hide Gelatin (E Jiao) help with insomnia with very restless sleep?

Because it is a key herb in Huang Lian E Jiao Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency' (a pattern with insomnia with very restless sleep as a symptom)

Donkey-Hide Gelatin is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies and nourishes Blood. Stops bleeding. Moistens and lubricates Yin.

Read more about Donkey-Hide Gelatin here

Why might Sweet Wormwood Herb (Qing Hao) help with insomnia with very restless sleep?

Because it is a key herb in Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency' (a pattern with insomnia with very restless sleep as a symptom)

Sweet Wormwood Herbs is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Treats malaria. Treats summer Heat and clears symptoms of deficient Heat. Clears Blood Heat and stops bleeding.

Read more about Sweet Wormwood Herbs here

Why might Goldthread Rhizome (Huang Lian) help with insomnia with very restless sleep?

Because it is a key herb in Huang Lian E Jiao Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency' (a pattern with insomnia with very restless sleep as a symptom)

Goldthread Rhizomes is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Spleen, the Stomach, the Heart, the Large intestine and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Lower Burner. Eliminates Fire toxicity especially when there is associated Dampness. Acts as a sedative by eliminating Heart Fire. Eliminates Stomach Fire. Expel parasites

Read more about Goldthread Rhizomes here

Why might Softshell Turtle Shell (Bie Jia) help with insomnia with very restless sleep?

Because it is a key herb in Qing Hao Bie Jia Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Empty-Heat or Fire caused by Yin Deficiency' (a pattern with insomnia with very restless sleep as a symptom)

Softshell Turtle Shells is a Neutral herb that tastes Salty. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Nourishes Yin and subdues exuberant Yang. Resolves hardness.

Read more about Softshell Turtle Shells here