Do you ever find yourself too tired to think? Constantly yawning? Too exhausted even to move? It’s thought one in three of us, in the UK, suffer from poor sleep. But I’d say of the patients I see in clinic, that number is definitely higher.

You’ll know if you’re lacking sleep. But did you know that a sleep debt can quickly take its toll not only on the obvious, such as not being able to function, but on your immunity, weight and even your mental health? Those are really compelling reasons for you to work on getting better and more sleep.

Chinese medicine can be really effective for sleep issues, because it looks at your emotional and energetic state alongside the physical state. During a Chinese medicine diagnosis, you’ll very likely be asked about sleep. If your sleep is disrupted, this is said to reflect an internal imbalance in the body. Once the practitioner has got to the bottom of what’s causing your particular imbalance(s), it can often become quite simple to fix.

One reason for lack of sleep might be an imbalance in yin/yang energies. Put simply, yang energy is fast and energetic, whilst yin is slow and nurturing. As our lives tend to be very fast paced and stressful, we are dominated by yang. To help balance things out, it’s a good idea, during the day, to encourage your yin energy.

Another possible reason is an organ imbalance. This is not what it sounds like in Western terms; in Chinese medicine we have a much broader concept of how the organs function. We don’t just talk about organs as having functions, but also energetic qualities. So, if we say your liver Qi is weak, it doesn’t mean you have a physical problem with your liver, but rather an energetic one. This also means you can take steps to build up that energy.

The basic techniques of yang sheng work together to effectively reduce stress and rebalance you. Head to the rituals section to learn them.