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!