The Importance of Sleep Before Midnight: An Acupuncturist Perspective.
Sleep after midnight is just not the same as sleep before midnight. For our body to function at its highest potential we need to be in a deep nourishing sleep before 11pm, so getting to bed by 10pm is ideal. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there is an organ clock that represents the time of the day when each organ is functioning optimally.
11pm-1am is Gall Bladder’s time:
- Physically stores and excretes bile.
- Emotionally in charge decision-making.
- If you’re not sleeping by this time, you are depleting your gall bladder’s energy stores, which can lead to poor judgment, or difficulty digesting fats.
1-3am is Liver’s time:
- Physically stores blood for menstruation, connected to tendons and eyes.
- Emotionally connected to anger and stress, you may find that you wake up between 1-3am if you have high levels of stress.
- If you are not in a deep sleep by this time this can lead to irregular menstruation, irritability, mood swings, tight tendons, and headaches.
5 tips to help you get to bed earlier and have a deep nourishing sleep:
1) Gradually pull your sleep earlier- If you try to get to bed much earlier than what you are used too you may have a hard time sleeping through the night. 15 minutes per week earlier is best. You can use melatonin when you get to bed earlier, which is available from most drug stores.
2) Keep TV and cell phones out of the bedroom- You have probably heard this before but it is so important. Try and reduce your electronics use and be done with them around by 8pm or 9pm. The back-lighting on phones and TVs interfere with melatonin production and sends a signal to your brain to wake up.
3) Create a relaxing atmosphere 1-2 hours before bed- Use soft lighting, diffuse relaxing blends of essential oils like lavender, do light stretching, read a book, let your body know it is time to unwind from the day.
4) Massage your feet- Kidney 1 is a point on the bottom of your foot, right below the ball of the big toe, this point is great for insomnia and calming the mind. You can rub along the arch of each foot with your thumbs for 5-10 minutes to help you fall asleep.
5) Acupuncture- Acupuncture is very good at relaxing the mind and body, many patients fall asleep during treatments and have great sleeps afterwards. Acupuncture can help relax the body and mind to promote a deep sleep and also treat the root cause of sleep disturbances.
I would love to work with you in clinic to help improve your sleep or other health concerns you may be working on. Local Health Integrative Clinic is located right across from Commercial and Broadway Skytrain.
For more information or to book an appointment online go to: localhealthco.com/jenny-abel-r-ac/. Or call the clinic at 604-568-7655.