There are several possibilities as to why you’re waking up in the middle of the night. 1) You’ve been consuming too much True Crime and are having nightmares about serial killers. 2) You enjoyed some booze earlier that evening and it’s worn off. 3) Your body is trying to tell you something. You’re probably familiar with Chinese Energy and Medicinal practices like Feng Shui, acupuncture, and every Instagrammers favorite beauty practice Gua Sha. But one of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (or TCM, for short) best kept secrets is the body clock.
I first learned about the TCM body clock a few years ago from a massage therapist. We were chatting and I mentioned that I am a notoriously bad sleeper and wake up around 2 a.m. nearly every single night. When he said, “Ah! Liver time,” I was pretty confused. According to TCM, each of our major organs ‘peak’ (aka, work really hard to do their job) within a two hour window every day. If you tend to feel sick, restless, or just ‘off’ around the same time each day – or night – the TCM body clock may help.
Let’s use the 2 a.m. example. According to the body clock, the liver peaks from 1-3 a.m. The liver is responsible for A LOT OF STUFF in our body. It’s our largest internal organ and is a heavy hitter for our detoxification system. Read: it metabolizes alcohol. So, if we’re using this clock to connect the dots here, waking up at 2 a.m. means we need to give our liver some extra support. An easy way to do this is to eat more foods that support our liver, like beets, grapefruit and cauliflower. Another action to help out the ol’ liv is to pump the brakes on alcohol! Not fun, but it can be effective.
There’s a lot more to the body clock in regards to energy and emotion; more on that below. Hopefully you can glean some information from the body clock that will help you sleep like a – not a baby because aren’t they not so great at sleeping? – like a puppy. How cute!