A day may come when I get enough sleep and don’t need coffee, but it is not this day.
I used to brag that I slept through the night without ever having to get up to go to the bathroom, and had no trouble falling asleep. I still can fall asleep within minutes (even after checking my iPhone before lights out), but I now wake up once or twice a night for that dreaded potty break.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, your sleep cycle can reveal a lot about your physical and emotional state. It can even connect us to messages from a higher power. The time at which you go to sleep or wake up could be sending you a warning message not to be ignored.
If you have trouble going to bed between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., it could be a sign of stress. It’s recommended you practice meditation to be able to relax and get some sleep.
Waking up between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. could mean emotional disappointment. According to traditional Chinese medicine, this is the time when the gall bladder is active, so practice mantras and try to forgive and accept yourself as you are.
If you wake up between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., it’s because you have built-up anger. This energy is connected to the liver and associated with anger and an excess of yang energy. Try to drink a glass of cold water and meditate.
Waking up between 3:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. could mean that a higher power is communicating with you. This time of the morning is related to the lungs and sadness. If you wake up at this hour, it’s because a higher presence wants to guide you to a bigger purpose. You can pray and perform breathing exercises to get back to sleep.
If you wake up between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., it’s because you have emotional blocks. At this time, the energy of the intestine is active and means you have many emotional blocks. Try to stretch your muscles or go to the bathroom.
If you suffer from insomnia, you know it’s more than tossing and turning and more serious than just not being able to fall sleep early. Nevertheless, in Chinese medicine, all of these conditions are seen as abnormal sleep patterns that should be addressed as the effects can be debilitating over time. An estimated 32 million people suffer from insomnia in the U.S., and sleep medications have been shown to have risks of detrimental side effects. True insomnia is defined as poor sleep followed by daytime fatigue. Because sleep needs vary from person to person, the real issue of insomnia is quality of feeling during the day.
It’s fascinating how the body is capable of sending us different signals about our physical, emotional and spiritual state, and it’s important for all of us to learn to listen and understand these signs to improve our lives.