Different cultures look at sleeplessness differently. The Chinese view regarding this problem revolves around 4 concepts:
1) Transfer daily stress into physical tiredness.
Complex modern life tends to add to your sleeplessness or anxiety. A good way to reduce it is by physical labor, exercise or sport. After a period of exertion, your tired muscles will make you sleep better and relieve the strains on your brain.
2) Maintain a balanced state, both mental and physical.
You must find a balance in life that includes job, obligation, hobby, recreation and social activity. Although difficult, maintaining balance will be easier if you try to make things simple. Sometimes, the physical imbalance is caused by the over- or under-performance of a major body organ, especially the liver. It can be reduced by a prescription from an herbalist.
3) Reduce the internal heat generated by the liver.
Internal heat is built up due to restlessness or eating too much “hot” food. The following will help:
“Cold” food: juicy fruits especially watermelon, seaweed and green vegetables.
Teas: Chrysanthemum, jasmine and green teas. Most other Chinese teas are for digestion, not for sleep.
Herbs: Bai Shao, Jin Yin Hua, Xia Gu Cao, Xuan Shen, or a combination. No Chinese herbs can put you to sleep as quickly as a Western sleeping pill. Therefore, allow several hours for the herbs to work through your body.
4) Eat something to “ren” the body.
This means to soothe, moisturize and nourish.
Herbs: Sheng Di, Mai Dong, Sha Shen, Yu Zhu, or a combination.
The Cantonese in the South have developed many recipes called “sweet soups” made from beans, seaweed, fruits, egg, tofu, almond, walnut, sesame, and many others. They are eaten as snacks with just enough sugar added to make a delightful taste.
The “ren” method appeals most to women because it also enhances skin, voice, beauty and femininity.