Sleep and dreaming

Sleep and dreaming

We all know how important a good night’s sleep is. We feel refreshed and energised throughout the day when we have had an adequate amount and quality of sleep. However, when our sleep is poor we feel tired and often struggle through the day with low energy levels.

There are many reasons why we don’t sleep well: getting up to go to the toilet frequently, children waking us, feeling hot at night and dreaming are just are few common occurrences. In this article we will be looking at how our dreams affect our sleep.

If you have ever had a consultation with one of our practitioners you will know that we always ask you about your sleep patterns and whether or not you dream at night. Many of you ask whether or not it is good to dream when sleeping.

According to Chinese Medicine theory you should not have vivid, violent or fearful dreams, especially if they wake you during the night or cause you to have a restless sleep. Dreams of death, falling, being chased and running, and fire, are common but indicate an imbalance in the energies of the organs that help create restful sleep.

Dreaming which does not make the sleep restless, is not frightening, and does not leave you feeling tired in the morning can be described as normal.

Chinese medicine theory believes that a number of organs assist the body to sleep well. When these organs are out of balance poor sleep can result.

The Heart has the function of housing the spirit and the mind. When it is peaceful and balanced you will sleep soundly. When a person’s Heart is weak and deficient in Blood and Yin, or the Heart is agitated by Heat or Fire, the individual will find it difficult to fall asleep and have a restless sleep with lots of dreaming.

The Liver also works closely with the Heart to allow the body to relax and sleep well. When the Liver energy is stagnant and contains too much Heat the individual will experience difficulty falling asleep due to an active mind and often very active, busy or violent dreams.

When a person has scary or frightening dreams this is often due to a deficiency in Kidney, Heart and Gallbladder energy. Sex dreams are common but also indicate an imbalance in the Kidney energy.

If you are bothered by insomnia and sleep symptoms you could consult with your Chinese medicine practitioner before the problem becomes too serious as we all know how important our sleep is to our emotional and physical well-being!

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Dr Ping Wang is the clinic founder and senior practitioner of Ping Ming Health. She has over 30 years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine teaching and practice. Dr Ping especially enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chinese medicine through our popular clinic articles, seminars and clinical training of students and practitioners.