Insomnia Types Or Patterns Of Insomnia
While there are many many different types of insomnia patterns, here I will discuss the more common insomnia types, found in TCM. There are seven basic TCM patterns. They are:
Liver Yin Deficiency
Heart Yin Deficiency
Heart/Spleen Blood Deficiency
Patients presenting with insomnia will have subtle and sometimes not so subtle differences in their symptoms. For instance, some patients may have difficulty falling asleep, others wake early in the morning, and yet others have difficulty staying asleep through the night. From a TCM perspective, these are significant distinctions and are unique to a particular pattern.
Other differences in insomnia types may include symptoms such as anxiety, excess dreaming, palpitations, mental restlessness, night sweats, irritability, nightmares and disturbing dreams. Each of these factors, alone or in combination, can have significance to the TCM practitioner. They indicate different underlying causes of the insomnia that require distinct treatment approaches.
The insomnia patterns can be of two basic types. The simple type and the complex type. The simple type is less complex and often of shorter duration. It typically involves a single organ system and the imbalance in that system has not yet effected other organ systems. Examples of this type include liver fire, liver yin deficiency and heart yin deficiency patterns.
In contrast, the complex patterns involve more than one organ system. They tend to be more chronic in nature and include patterns such as Spleen/heart deficiency, Liver gallbladder disharmony and kidney heart disharmony.