It is nothing new to remark that a good nights sleep brings us back to a better level of energy. Chinese philosophy has a very nice way of looking at sleep and understanding it in a way more in line with the seasons.
As night approaches it as if winter is coming. Winter is the stage of hibernation where everything slows down and hides away for the great cold to pass. This is a dark and difficult time and going against it can weaken us. It is more difficult for the body to muster up energy in this season than it is say compared to summer where vitality is ripe.
In Daoism, an ancient Chinese philosophy describes this winter phase as the gathering of energy. This energy is gathered and stored and seed like ready to burst out when the time is right at the depths of winter have been exhausted. Once the storage is complete, spring comes and with it, the flourishing of all life as it bursts outward from the seed into growth and new life.
As Chinese medicine sees the body as analogous to nature, we follow a similar pattern. As night approaches we begin to tire. We slow down and retreat to a more personal space, and eventually go to bed to drift into the unconscious depths. This deep sleep is akin to the coldest part of winter where very little moves. This is the phase of storage. At this time, we are regenerating, repairing and renewing ourselves. Once this storage is sufficient and the day light approaches, we are drawn out of beds, our wills taking us out into our lives in the world. The deeper one can get during this storage phase, the more energy they will have the following day and the more spring like their energy will be. If we wake from a sleep that was disturbed and wasn't long enough, we feel the effects by moving slowly, grumpily, bleary eyed and low. This is the result of insufficient storage and therefore a winter that has not bee deep or cold enough.
Acupuncture can be used to help with sleep as it helps to guide and balance the body back to a more aligned state. If someone is struggling to sleep, acupuncture helps to get that person back to a healthy state of winter and rest so that their energy levels may lift. Lifestyle though is also very important as going to bed too late every night will always end in exhausted energy.
East Grinstead and Croydon are where my clinics are based, visit my website for more info: www.elemental-acupuncture.co.uk