Many, many people have trouble sleeping. Some amount of difficulty sleeping has become so widespread people are starting to think it’s normal, especially as we get older. It might be normal, but it’s not healthy. Getting good quality sleep is one of the most important ways to stay healthy and vital. Sleep from a Chinese Medicine perspective offers a more nuanced understanding of the causes of insomnia. All matters of consciousness involve the Heart, therefore insomnia is first and foremost a Heart issue. If the Heart qi is agitated at first there will be difficulty falling asleep due to excessive thoughts, which corresponds in the Western perspective to an overactive sympathetic nervous system. With more severe Heart qi agitation there can be no sleep at all, such as in manic states. This is related to a state of excess dopamine in the brain.