|Since one third of our lives are spent in bed, it is hard to overlook the significance of sleep. Tips to improve sleep, from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theories to clinical practices, can therefore benefit your life.
|TCM practitioners believe that spring and the liver have the same property of "mu" (wood), thus the liver tends to be over-active, making people touchy.
|The stomach and spleens have the "tu" (earth) property and are the opposite of "mu". If the opposition between these two properties becomes too strong, people will feel uncomfortable.
|"Obviously, being angry and uncomfortable makes it hard to fall into sleep," says Dr Li Haicong, director of the Office of Geriatrics at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, who is also an experienced TCM practitioner.
|The solution is to calm down the activity of the liver, and to reduce the burden on stomach and spleen, which can be fulfilled by a light diet and gentle exercise.
|"Do not have too much strong-flavored food. Avoid intake of stimulating food or drink, such as pepper, alcohol and coffee," Li says.
|Strongly recommended food includes fish, pork, duck, lily root, Chinese yam, asparagus lettuce, lotus seed, apples and bananas. Chicken, mutton, beef and oranges are not advisable in spring.