Interrupt Episodic Sleep With Needle Pricks - The New Indian Express

Interrupt Episodic Sleep With Needle Pricks

Published: 27th April 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 25th April 2014 04:27 PM

Episodic sleep disorder is classified under the category of drowsiness or sleepiness in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It mainly manifests symptoms such as paroxysmal involuntary sleepiness. It usually occurs in the day time, especially post-meal, in a monotonous environment, at a meeting or when attending a lecture. The symptom may occur several times a day, and each lasts no more than 15-20 minutes. After the attack, the patient may remain excited for a few hours. The symptoms of drowsiness vary in individual cases; some remain half-sleep, and a few snore. However, in extreme cases the patient may turn motionless. When under extreme excitement, e.g., laughing or crying, the sudden decrease of muscle tension may result in a sudden fall, but the patient recovers quickly. Usually, medication for an excitant is effective in the short term. Here’s two cases of acupuncture being administered by Dr Ge Li-kui and Dr Ge Shu-han at the Shenyang hospital, China.


Chen, a 46-year-old female teacher in a middle school, complained that since 1979 she had often been experiencing  drowsiness which kept intensifying every year, and recently, she experienced it two-three times, especially when preparing lessons or attending meetings, and sometimes even while walking or taking a meal. The onset would disappear in no more than 10 minutes. Every time when she felt drowsy, she would sit or lie down for a while. When it was over, she would find herself energised for about two hours. Laughing wholeheartedly often led to falling down on the ground due to drowsiness. Neurological diagnosis revealed no major abnormalities and was not found in her family’s medical history.

Neiguan (PC 6, both), Shenmen (HT 7, both) and Dazhui (DU 14) acupuncture points were selected for treatment. The treatment was given once daily. After nine such treatments, the patient felt quite relieved from feeling sleepy before noon. She stated that there only remained one or two onsets in the afternoon. After 16 sessions, the sleep-desire during day lessened significantly. There was only some occurrence in the evening. After 28 treatments, the patient was cured, and no relapse was found in a follow-up interval of half a year.


Zhang, a 40-year-old female cashier, complained that since 1985 she had been suffering from drowsiness, which aggravated gradually, with an onset of once a day or once every two-three days. Sometimes the symptom of drowsiness occurred when she was at her work. She would not be able to control herself. The onset might last five-six minutes. Neurological diagnosis revealed no major abnormalities and was not found in her family’s medical history. Acupuncture was administered at the same aforementioned points.

After four sessions, the drowsiness which usually occurred before noon stopped, and it only remained uncontrollable in the afternoon. However, after a few minutes of sleep, she was up and about. After 10 treatments, she was up in the day, but still needed three-five minutes of sleep after supper, otherwise she would experience a brief onset when watching television. After a total of 28 treatments she was able to control herself, and 34 treatments later, she was cured and no relapse occurred in one-year of follow up.

In short, as noted in Plain Questions, “The heart, the essence of life, is the variate of mentality and the sun of the Yang,” and in Miraculous Pivot, “The Heart is the major of the five-Zang and Sin’ Fu organs, and the house of mental spirit as well.” All this means that the heart is the first organ and the master for controlling and coordinating the life activities of human beings.

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