Daily Tips From Your Acupuncturist (part 4)
A review of what we’re trying to do: There are several very simple practices that, when committed to, can drastically improve a persons’ health, quality of life, and even help to alleviate symptoms. The catch is, they have to be done regularly!
Get to bed by 10 pm
I encourage all of my patients to attempt to be asleep by 10pm. According to Chinese Medicine (and actually beginning to gain some support by Western Medicine too), our organs have a timing system of when they are “most active” or performing certain functions. Many of our restorative functions happen while we sleep, so we want to make sure we are sleeping at the right time for these functions to occur properly. While this can be complicated, the most important part, in my opinion, is our liver functions which occur between 1am and 3am. The liver detoxes for us, so without it, we aren’t getting rid of “toxins”, inflammatory particles, and metabolites from other bodily processes which will all increase systemic inflammation which can cause or worse other ailments. Often times when people wake up in the middle of the night, it will be around 3am which is when the body is moving from “liver time” to “lung time”, so when the body can’t effectively move through this time smoothly, we wake up. Too much stress is one of the leading problems inhibiting this transition. To help make sure our organs are “getting their time”, I recommend people fall asleep by around 10 pm so that by 11pm they are fully asleep allowing the gallbladder to do its work and smoothly transition to liver time, and by the time liver time has come you are deeply asleep and in the right phase of sleep. If you are having trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep, consider being evaluated by an acupuncturist, or other healthcare practitioner who is familiar with this system to help diagnose and treat what is going on so you can have deep, restful, and restorative sleep!