Everyone dreams at night, but not everyone remembers their dreams. No matter the case, what you dream about, or how the quality of your sleep is, tells you a little bit about what is going on internally. Here are five things you didn’t know about sleep in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):
As you get older, typically nightmares tend to fade away. But occasionally adults have nightmares too. No matter if you are young or old; nightmares are connected to your Kidneys. Now let me explain this relationship: the emotion associated with your kidneys is fear. Whenever you experience fear, often you feel like you have the urge to urinate, as seen with bed wetting in children at night. Having nightmares provides insights to one whose kidneys may be imbalanced.
- Vivid Dreams
These types of dreams feel as if you have been active the entire night long even though you have been sleeping. The dreams feel very real, and often when you wake, you feel as if you never went to bed. Some people like having vivid dreams even though after they wake their energy level is low due to the poor quality of sleep. So how does one have vivid dreams? In TCM it is attributed to Heart Blood Deficiency. Other associated symptoms of this could be heart palpitations, anxiety, poor memory and concentration.
- Waking up at a specific time every night.
When this happens it usually leaves the person surprised that they constantly wake up at lets say 3:00am every single night. In TCM the body’s energy circulates throughout the twelve main organ systems through at 24 hour period. Each organ corresponds to a three hour time slot. So when a person wakes up at a certain time every night, or has something happen to them at a certain time of day, it is probable that there is an imbalance from that specific organ. For example) The Liver, which is in charge of emotions and stress, is the most active between 1-3am. In TCM this is called Liver Qi Stagnation or Liver Fire.
People who cannot sleep at night will usually agree that it starts the rest of the day off on the wrong foot. When sleep is not well, everything seems to not be well. Lack of sleep can also lead to serious health issues, aside from those dark raccoon circles under the eyes. Insomnia is strongly related to the Heart organ. In TCM the Heart it said to house the “shen” which is the western equivalent for demeanor or personality. When the Heart has an imbalance and cannot control the “shen” then usually the first set of symptoms is insomnia.
- Odd dreams after eating certain foods
Some people report having odd dreams after eating certain foods like pizza or ice cream. Or sometimes people can have odd dreams even from eating anything right before bed. This is because of two organs, the Spleen and Heart. As mentioned above, the heart houses the shen and controls insomnia. The Spleen and Heart have a close connection in the body when it comes to sleep. The Spleen can become imbalanced through a poor diet and late night eating. The Spleen is in charge of creating new blood cells in the body. The blood is what nourishes the Heart. So when the Heart is not being nourished, it leads to sleep issues.