Do you find yourself waking up at the same time every night? It might be your body trying to send you a message.
Most of us live every day by the 24-hour clock. In traditional Chinese medicine, the clock controls the flow of energy in your body. Each of your organs corresponds to a particular hour, during which it experiences energetic highs and lows. Since each organ also has a connection to a different part of your mind or emotions, waking at a certain time can reveal what’s really bothering you.
Trouble falling asleep or waking in the middle of the night can disturb the rest you need. If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, try following Chinese medicine to put your body and mind at ease.
IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE FALLING ASLEEP BETWEEN 9PM & 11PM…
You’re probably stressed. When you feel restless while everyone else is settling in for the night, this tends to suggest that your body is dealing with some anxiety, worry, fear or stress — or all of the above. You should be ready to hit the hay, but instead, you’re in fight-or-flight mode.
TRY keeping calm for an hour before your bedtime. Turn off the TV, put away the phone and opt for some meditation or a mindful practice, like yoga or progressive muscle relaxation.
IF YOU WAKE UP BETWEEN 11PM & 1AM…
You may be dealing with emotional disappointment. In traditional Chinese medicine, the gall bladder connects to our emotions and this is the time when it is most active. You might keep waking up at this time if someone close to you let you down recently or if you’re being too hard on yourself and struggling with self-acceptance.
TRY forgiveness. Forgive yourself or someone you’re holding a grudge against. Stop looking at yourself and those around you with judgment.
IF YOU WAKE UP BETWEEN 1AM & 3AM…
You’ve got some pent-up anger and an excess of hot, fiery yang energy. Chinese medicine associates these hours with the liver, which is connected to feelings of rage, guilt and anger. It’s a common time for people to wake from sleep and is usually driven by unresolved resentment or frustration.
TRY drinking a cold glass of water. Cooling food and drink add more yin energy to balance out the yang. Also, be sure to consider the source of your anger and address the problem.
IF YOU WAKE UP BETWEEN 3AM & 5PM…
You might be sad. These are the hours of the lungs, which Chinese medicine links to sadness, grief and depression. You may have lost faith in the universe but waking during this time is also said to be a sign that a higher power is calling you to discover your greater purpose.
TRY deep breathing. Use breathing exercises to help you fall back asleep. Focus on relaxing and releasing control. It’s time to just go with the flow.
IF YOU WAKE UP BETWEEN 5AM & 7AM…
You’re emotionally blocked. Some of us have to get up for work or school by now, but if your intention is to sleep later, waking at this time relates to the large intestine. In traditional Chinese medicine, this is where our bodies release what no longer serves us. Chances are, there is something you need to let go of, like guilt, anxiety or an unresolved conflict.
TRY stretching your muscles. Stretch before bed or to help you get back to sleep. Let the energy flow freely through your body and seek out some form of emotional release to help you get rid of what keeps you blocked.