Blog

Why Am I Dreaming More?

Have you been dreaming a lot more recently? Is it stealing your sleep away? When COVID-19 began to spread across the US, many people began noting that their dreaming dramatically increased. Why has it become so common to have difficulty sleeping due to dreams? Stress. Deep levels of stress, such as the dramatic increase in everyday anxiety that many of us are facing, affect the relationship between your Kidney and Heart in your body.

In TCM, the Heart-Kidney connection, or the shaoyin axis, manages stress. When we are healthy and in balance, the Heart-Kidney axis regulates hormones; managing the Thyroid and the Endocrine System Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA is our central stress response system, and because we all tend to run on the side of high stress and low sleep, adrenal exhaustion is a really hot topic right now. But, don’t forget your Kidney!

High stress often leads to Kidney Yin deficiency. What does that really mean?

The Taoist philosophy of Yin and Yang is foundational for understanding and treating health issues in TCM, as TCM views every part of you in its relation to your whole. Yin and Yang represent the flow of opposites that informs TCM’s ultimate goal to support balance. Yin represents inwardness, rest, and cold.

Kidney Yin becomes deficient when it is overworked by stress, due to the Kidney’s responsibility to support your HPA axis.

When the Kidney becomes Yin deficient, the Kidney Yin no longer rises to the Heart. This causes your Heart to over-heat, leading you to experience heavy dreaming. Other symptoms of an over-heated Heart include hot flashes, night sweats, heart palpitations, and restless sleep. (Chica Chill helps with all of those.)

The symptoms of Kidney Yin deficiency that are listed above tend to be more common in women. This is not surprising when we consider the pressure for women to perform high amounts of unpaid domestic work, in addition to their (lower) paying jobs. These symptoms tend to become disruptive when women begin menopause, as Yin naturally decreases with age, in addition to the Yin we already lose to stress.

How can you support your Kidney Yin?

Eat Chica Chill. The herbs in Chica Chill are rich in Yin support, giving your body the nourishment it needs. Eating Chica Chill resets the Heart-Kidney connection and brings it back to normal from a state of over-stress. This means that Chica Chill helps reset the stress load on your entire central nervous system!

Meditate. Meditation may feel overhyped, but even a few minutes a day helps lower stress in your body, and regulate your body’s reaction to stress. Meditation is not about not-thinking, but rather about sitting quietly and being aware of what thoughts pass through your mind, without dwelling on them.

Drink more water. Yin is water and the Kidney regulates water, so naturally drinking a lot of it will support your Kidney Yin. In addition to drinking water, you may also want to stay away from substances that dehydrate you, such as alcohol and coffee.

Consult your local acupuncturist. Sessions with an acupuncturist are a powerful way to support your system, and they will be able to create a treatment for your specific needs.

Now it makes sense why we call all of our sleep-disruptive dreams stress dreams. However, even when the world feels overwhelming, hope is not lost for your sleep. Herbs are always here to support your body when it needs them. Sweet dreams!

Sources:

Poria

Fungus & Root

Scierotium Poriae Cocos / Fu Ling / 茯苓 Scierotium Pararadicis Poriae Cocos / Fu Shen / 茯神

Poria calms the heart and soothes nerves, helping with anxiety and insomnia. Additionally, Poria drains dampness, an excess of moisture that the body collects in the wrong places and makes us feel heavy and fatigued (hello moodiness).

Chinese Salvia

Root

Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae / Dan Shen / 丹參

Salvia root nourishes the blood and heart, and calms the spirit. Salvia works with Schisandra and Zizyphus in Chica Chill to help relieve insomnia.

Rehmannia

Root

Radix Rehmanniae Preparata / Sheng Di Huang / 熟地黄

Rehmannia root is your Yin nourisher, supporting calm and cold in your system. With its additional ability to help cool blood, increase fluids, and clear heart fire; Rehmannia is a star herb for soothing and preventing heat flashes.

Polygala / Thin-Leaf Milkwort

Root

Radix Polygalae Tenuifoliae / Yuan Zhi / 元志

Polygala root nourishes the Heart, and helps soothe nerves and restlessness.

Schisandra / Chinese Magnolia

Berry

Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis / Wu Wei Zi / 五味子

Schisandra berry is famous for featuring all five flavors of Traditional Chinese Medicine: bitter, sweet, salty, sour, hot. This means that Schisandra is completely energetically balanced, promoting overall health and vitality. Schisandra helps relieve night sweats, insomnia, and hormonal imbalances. Schisandra is also rich in antioxidants that are thought to protect from free radicals and other toxins in the environment that may cause cellular damage. 

Platycodon / Balloon Flower

Root

Radix Platycodi / Jie Geng / 桔梗

Platycodon root is a neutral balancing herb, meaning it is not especially Yin or Yang. Platycodon is nourishing for the lungs, which in TCM, is the organ that supports Qi and fluid flow throughout the body.

Scrophularia / Figwort

Root

Radix Scrophulariae / Xuan Shen / 玄參

Scrophularia root nourishes Yin, drains fire, and cools the blood. Scrophularia is particularly soothing for irritability.

Ophiopogon / Dwarf Lilyturf

Tuber

Tuber Ophiopogonis Japonici / Mai Men Dong / 麦门冬

Ophiopogon tuber works with Asparagus to nourish Yin and clear heat throughout the system. These plants also provide moisture and relieve restlessness.

Stemona

Root

Radix Stemonae / Bai Bu / 百部

Stemona root is a balancing herb in the Chica Chill formula. Stemona is nourishing for the lungs, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is the organ that supports Qi and fluid flow throughout the body.

Licorice

Root

Radix Glycyrrhizae / Gan Cao / 甘草

Licorice acts as a unifier, balancing the formula and amplifying the properties of the other herbs.

Zizyphus / Sour Jujube

Seed

Semen Zizyphi Spinosae / Suan Zao Ren / 酸枣仁

Zizyphus seed nourishes the heart and calms the spirit. Zizyphus helps relieve insomnia, irritability, and anxiety.

Ginseng

Root

Radix Ginseng / Ren Shen / 人参

Ginseng root, one of the most famous herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is known for its ability to strengthen Qi and support life vitality. Ginseng nourishes the Heart and calms the spirit, helping reduce anxiety and insomnia.

Acorus / Grassleaf Sweetflag

Rhizome

Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii / Shi Chang Pu / 石菖蒲

Acorus helps relieve internal heat and is a favorite herb for reducing frequent insomnia.

Eucommia / Chinese Rubber Tree

Bark

Cortex Eucommiae Ulmoidis / Du Zhong / 杜仲

Eucommia bark balances the Chica Chill formula by offering Yang properties. Eucommia is also nourishing for the heart, and has been featured in research in Western medicine for its ability to help lower blood pressure.

Angelica / Dong Quai

Root

Radix Angelicae Sinensis / Dong Quai / 当归

Angelica root is sometimes described as the “female ginseng,” due to its fame for supporting a healthy and regular menstrual cycle. Angelica root strengthens blood and energizes circulation. In Chica Chill, Angelica root balances the herbal formula with its Yang properties.

Biota / Arborvitae

Seed

Semen Platycladi / Bai Zi Ren / 柏子仁

Biota seed benefits memory and promotes restful sleep by nourishing the heart and calming the spirit.

Chinese Asparagus

Tuber

Tuber Asparagi Cochinensis / Tian Men Dong / 天门冬

Asparagus root works with Ophiopogon to nourish Yin and clear heat throughout the system. These plants also provide moisture and relieve restlessness.