How to fall back asleep

One of the biggest parts of life is sleep as without proper sleep, your body can go all kinds of crazy. As with many health issues though, we can’t help but wonder what came first, the chicken or the egg? Is your sleep affecting your health or is your health affecting your sleep? Whatever the case may be, we must try to figure out how to adjust the issue.

So first of all, let’s figure out why you may be waking up from your restful sleep:

11pm-1am: according to TICM, Gallbladder is responsible for what is exact and just. Waking during this time could involve the processing of indecisiveness and resentment. It is also associated with insufficiency; specifically being fearful or panicky about choices or outcomes, a lack of courage, initiative, and assertiveness. The gallbladder is a pivot between courage and fear.

1-3am: during this time, toxins are released from the body and fresh new blood is made. Waking during this time could involve problems with detoxification. Waking between 1am-3am may be due to repressed anger, resentment, frustration, irritability, or bitterness. The eyes are the sensory organ related to the Liver.

3-5am: if woken at this time, consider nerve-soothing exercises involving breathing and body relaxation. Your body is beginning to heat up at this time, so you will be more comfortable if you keep yourself warm. The lungs are associated with feelings of grief and sadness, either the expression or the repression of them

5-7am: Large Intestine is all about letting go physically and emotionally. Emotions of depression, irritability, discouragement, distress, releasing, compulsiveness, confusion, guilt, and regret. Physical issues of elimination pertaining to the colon, rectum, skin, bloating or dehydration.

So we are able to identify why you can’t get proper shut eye, which is the first step in solving your slumber woes, but how to you fall back to sleep? Well again it is more complicated as there are different types of sleeplessness.

Taking a long time to fall asleep = stress: constant stress affects the nervous system. This leads to excess heat in the Liver and Heart organ systems. The manifestation of this is anxiety, irritability, or anger and tossing and turning in bed and having a really difficult time falling asleep. According to TICM, stress prevents Blood and vital from circulating throughout the body. High stress is indicative of energy stagnation, particularly Liver energy stagnation, since the Liver is the chief organ for promoting smooth energy flow. That said, it’s important to tend to your Liver so taking unhomegenised milk with grated fresh tumeric and honey before bed should help this issue.

Fall asleep but can’t stay asleep = Kidneys: excess heat in the Liver is more characteristic of those who have trouble falling asleep. Whereas, if you are someone who doesn’t really have problems falling asleep but aren’t able to stay asleep, or sleep too lightly, it’s usually an indication of Yin deficiency. In TICM diagnosis, this hyperactive fire caused by yin deficiency is very common. And what causes a Yin deficiency? Specifically, it’s an imbalance in the Kidney organ system. Try some Kidney foods to soothe your restless sleep.

Restless sleep = fear and worry: for some people, brief periods of bad sleep are normal if there’s an obvious factor in preventing a good night’s sleep. Take for instance, jet lag. But if tossing and turning isn’t caused by something temporary and obvious, but more from chronic pessimistic thoughts marked by fear and worry, this is characterised by Heart and Gallbladder energy deficiency. And it’s this deficiency that can produce nightmares and unpleasant repetitive dreams. If this is the kind of troubled sleep you suffer from, I would advise definitely come off all screens minimum 2 hours before bedtime.

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