I'm not sure what feels worse, cranky pants or hangry pants. Either way, whether it is hunger for food, or hunger for sleep, neither pair look good on ya, so before you go running out to buy over the counter sleeping pills let's look at what your body may actually need.
Understanding the causes of WHY your not sleeping is so important. While we would all love a quick fix in the form of a pill or capsule, sometimes that's just not what you really need. There are two questions we need to start with, so let's dig in.
Can't get to sleep?
If you are struggling to get to sleep, hold the horses on popping your next sleeping pill! Struggling to fall asleep can be a result of stress and worries from the day. A busy mind needs to be turned off in order to get to sleep. A daily meditiation practice is a great way to calm your body and improve sleep. Check out my favourite app called Guided Mind and listen to their "Head to feet to sleep" meditation before bed to guide you into a peaceful sleep.
Can't stay asleep?
Staying asleep is a whole other animal! You see, it doesn't just mean one thing! According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have an organ clock that can help us determine underlying issues be it an organ needing support or pent up emotions leaving us stirring in the night. Let's take a look at what your body may be telling you during the hours of the night.
11:00pm to 1:00am
I always tell my clients to be in bed and snoozing BEFORE 11pm. The reason is, this is critical time for sleeping and regenterating. This is the time of the gall bladder, which is responsible for the storage of bile, which breaks down fats. Our bile is produced by the liver which we will learn about next, but we can't have one without the other. Lack of sleep during this time can be linked to low self esteem, poor judgment and of course, a struggle to digest fats.
1:00am to 3:00am
This time is the optimal functioning time of the liver. During these hours while your body is resting, the liver is active in detoxing itself. Waking during these hours can be an indication of needing liver support. Having said this, the understanding of the liver is much more vast than just the physical organ and it's bodily functions. The emotional state of our body can also be associate with these organs. Suppressed Anger, resentment and frustration are the emotions of the liver and because the liver is the site of detoxification, you might also ask yourself, what toxins are present in your life that you may need to cleanse yourself of? A toxic relationship, excess alcohol, cigarettes etc?
When the liver is in balance you will feel happier, even-keeled and better at decision making without the physically or emotionally toxic load weighing you down.
3:00am to 5:00am
The lungs are the first organ up for cleansing in the morning. Toxic waste in the lungs becomes loosened between 3:00am and 5:00am. Experiencing a cough first thing in the morning is a sign the lungs are expelling toxins and the diet and lifestyle likely need adjusting.
From an emotional perspective, if you are experiencing grief or sorrow, you may also experience waking during these hours. Imbalances can manifest themselves in the form of cough, wheezing, colds and even asthma.
Understanding the message's from the body is such a powerful way to address the real issues at hand. Guess work is a frustrating, expensive and dangerous thing. Imagine, with a little bit more understanding, just how much better off we would be on our quest for health!
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