What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder where you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.  If you have insomnia, you may not be able to get enough good quality sleep consistently.  This could affect your ability to function properly during the day, due to tiredness and lack of focus.  This article will describe some of the types, symptoms, and treatments for insomnia, as well as how Chinese Medicine can help. Honor Wellness offers a natural approach to treatments for Insomnia in Vancouver!

Types of Insomnia:

Insomnia may appear in different ways for different people.  Some of the main types of insomnia are chronic insomnia, acute insomnia, maintenance insomnia, onset insomnia and behavioral insomnia.  Chronic insomnia lasts for a period of three months or longer and occurs when your sleep is affected for three or more nights per week.  In contrast, acute insomnia only affects your sleep short-term, for no longer than a few weeks.  When you have trouble staying asleep during the night, this is called maintenance insomnia, while onset insomnia is when you have trouble falling asleep in the first place.  Behavioral insomnia refers to when children refuse to go to bed or have trouble falling asleep.  Insomnia may also occur by itself (primary insomnia) or may be related to another health problem (secondary insomnia). 

Insomnia Symptoms:

If you have insomnia, you may experience symptoms such as lying awake worrying at night, waking up in the night and being unable to fall asleep again, or trouble falling asleep when you go to bed at night.  These symptoms may lead to further health problems due to lack of sleep.  Fatigue, difficulty concentrating during the day, and irritability can all occur due to insomnia.  In some cases, insomnia may also lead to more serious complications, like anxiety, seizures, and even heart problems.

Insomnia Treatment

Common treatment options for insomnia include therapy, supplements, medications, and home remedies.  Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia is when a therapist helps you to learn how to manage your condition.  This could include teaching you tips and strategies to help you sleep, like avoiding caffeine, spicy or heavy meals, and intense exercise before bed.  Your therapist may also teach you relaxation techniques to practice which can help your mind and body relax before sleep. 

Medications and supplements like melatonin are also sometimes used to help treat insomnia.  However, these may not be safe to use long term, and may also cause side effects.  Other treatments for insomnia include home remedies such as certain herbal teas and essential oils like lavender, as well as meditation techniques to help control and relax the mind.

How Can Chinese Medicine Help?

You can also treat insomnia through Traditional Chinese Medicine.  In Chinese Medicine, organs in the body are connected to each other and control specific functions.  The heart and small intestine are two important organs, which control the functions of circulation, bowel movements, and sleep.  So, if you have insomnia symptoms, these may be due to a weakness or imbalance in the heart or small intestine. 

Acupressure (applying pressure to certain points on the body) and acupuncture (stimulating the pressure points by inserting thin needles) are two techniques from Chinese Medicine that may be effective for reducing insomnia symptoms.  These techniques work by energizing specific organs, through manipulation of the energy meridians that flow through the body.  Chinese Medicine is a great way to treat conditions like insomnia, as it focuses on allowing the body to heal itself without presenting the risk of serious side effects.


Overall, insomnia can refer to different types of sleeping disorders, which can consistently prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.  Common symptoms of insomnia include having trouble falling or staying asleep at night, and may lead to irritability, fatigue and loss of concentration throughout the day.  Treatment for insomnia can often include therapy or medications like melatonin, but Traditional Chinese Medicine is also an effective method for treating insomnia.


Lamoreux, K. & Raypole, C. (2022, January 19). Everything You Need to Know About Insomnia. Healthline.

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