Do you find yourself waking up at a certain time in the middle of the night?
Do you end up feeling groggy in the morning instead of feeling restored?
Have you ever experienced the cycle of not being able to fall asleep because you are thinking about whatever it is you did or didn’t do throughout the day? Racing thoughts, overthinking, worrying, everything except falling asleep?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the questions above, you are experiencing a battle with insomnia, which is the inability to relax and fall asleep.
Insomnia is caused by a variety of factors, including stress, anxiety, poor sleep habits, and medical conditions. While there are many approaches to treating insomnia, one method that has gained popularity in recent years is the Chinese body clock.
Most people tend to think of our inner timekeeper as the circadian rhythm, however, the Chinese body clock is based on the idea that each of our organs has a specific time of day when it is most active and most in need of rest. According to this theory, if we follow a schedule that aligns with the body’s natural rhythms, we can improve our overall health and well-being, including our ability to sleep.
The Chinese body clock is divided into 12 two-hour intervals, with each interval corresponding to a different organ system. For example, the hours of 11 pm to 1 am are associated with the gallbladder, while the hours of 1 am to 3 am are associated with the liver. The idea is that if we go to bed and wake up at the right time, we can support the natural functioning of these organs and promote better sleep.
Here are 8 tips for aligning your sleep schedule with the Chinese body clock method to overcome insomnia:
1. Get to bed early
Focus on the hours of 9pm to 11pm whenever possible. According to the Chinese body clock, this is the time when the body’s energy begins to move inward, making it a good time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Avoid stimulating activities such as working, watching TV, or using electronics during this time frame. Between the hours of 11pm to 1am are the best time for the gallbladder to rest. If you stay up past this time, you may find it harder to fall asleep or wake up feeling unrested.
2. Wake up early and stick to a consistent sleep schedule
The hours of 5 am to 7 am are associated with the large intestine, which is responsible for eliminating waste from the body. By waking up early, you can support this process and start your day off on the right foot. Get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends (although sleeping in might be very tempting). This can help regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and make it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally.
3. Avoid heavy meals and alcohol before bed
Eating a heavy meal or drinking alcohol before bed can interfere with your sleep quality. Instead, eat your last meal at least 2-3 hours before bedtime and avoid alcohol or caffeine in the evening. You can hydrate with decaffeinated tea or enjoy a fresh glass of fruit infused water as alternatives.
4. Practice relaxation techniques
If stress or anxiety is keeping you up at night, try practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. These practices can help calm your mind and prepare your body for sleep.
5. Create a sleep-friendly environment and relaxing bedtime routine
Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool, and avoid using electronics or engaging in stimulating activities before bed. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine that signals to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This can include activities like taking a warm bath or reading a book.
6. The bed should serve only two purposes 😉
While we may be tempted to read, watch TV, study, or chat on the phone while lying in bed, we are creatures of habit and the more our subconscious mind sees the bed as a tool for sleep or sharing intimate moments, the more quickly it will respond. The more you practice this, the more you’ll find yourself falling into deep sleep within minutes. Yes, minutes.
7. Avoid the tempting shut-eye on the couch
You know that delicious feeling when you feel yourself easily drifting off to sleep in front of the TV or while reading a book after having had a satisfying meal…. Well, don’t do it. Along the same lines as the above advise, we want our minds to connect sleep with bed and additionally sleep solidly through the night.
8. Avoid electronics
Using electronics before bed or having your WIFI/Cellular device next to your bed causes delayed sleep, throws the circadian rhythm off, causes decreased REM and thereby shorter sleep cycles.
While the Chinese body clock can be a helpful tool for promoting better sleep, it’s important to remember that everyone’s sleep needs are different. If you continue to struggle with insomnia, it may be helpful to seek guidance from a healthcare provider who can help you develop a personalized plan for improving your sleep.
If you’d like to calm the busy mind and create new, healthy sleep patterns, schedule a session for Hypnosis in NYC. If you want to restore and balance your mind and body, then come see us for Reiki sessions with an LED add-on at Self Empowered Minds. Self Empowered Minds is here to help you strengthen your mind, empower the positive beliefs you have, and help rebuild new patterns in the brain to support healthier habits. Our services support you in the best way possible so you may fill your life to the brim with love, happiness, family, friends, health, wealth, gratitude, and joy.