Tip 20: Note the Time That You Are Awake and Wake Up; Meridians
If you find there are patterns to the times you are awake or waking up, check the body clock guidelines below, as it may indicate that a particular system/organ is out of balance and needs attention. If this is the case, discuss it with your health care professional, as there are ways that liver health, kidney health, and other areas can be improved. These may be with dietary and lifestyle modifications, specific herbs and nutrients, or the usage of modalities such as acupuncture.
9 p.m.–11 p.m. Your spleen is said to be most active at this time and transforms nourishment from food to create chi energy.
11 p.m.–1 a.m. Your heart meridian is associated with fire, the element that governs blood and anchors your mind.
1 a.m.–3 a.m. If you wake up during this time, there may be a need to work on your liver.
3 a.m.–5 a.m. Your lung meridian is related to respiration and circulation. There may be issues that you need to get off your chest, quite literally.
5 a.m.–7 a.m. Your large intestines remove waste and are about getting rid of things, on both a physical and emotional level.
Tip 21: Caution with Alcohol
Alcohol increases the production of adrenaline, the stress hormone, interfering with brain chemistry and sleep cycles. It also impacts healthy neurotransmitter function, leading to increased wakefulness; therefore, it’s not recommended regularly. It may get you to sleep initially, but the rush of cortisol during the night as the liver works to break it down will often wake you up.
Tip 22: Tryptophan
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it needs to be consumed in the diet, as the body cannot produce it. It is naturally found in turkey and other meats, banana, milk, eggs, oats, cottage cheese, fish, and seeds. In the body, it’s converted to 5-HTP and serotonin, increasing melatonin. In supplements, the safer form used is 5-HTP, which is a derivative of tryptophan (sleep hormone) and the form that enters the brain to do its work. However, some people, including me, find that 5-HTP can be stimulating, and thus tryptophan may be preferable.
Tip 23: Sugar: For Day, Not Night
The old wives’ tale that eating fruit before bed induces nightmares might have more truth to it than originally thought. Eating sugar of any form at night can encourage the proliferation of yeast and other microbes in the body and affect sleep, especially if the microbes are nestled in the adrenals or brain. Sugar also causes increased cortisol levels, thereby impacting melatonin or sleep hormone levels and resulting in poor sleep. Reserve sugar for smaller amounts during the day and ideally consume it in its natural whole fruit state.
Tip 24: Evening Quiet Time
Digital detox time. Switch off the TV, computer, mobile phone, and other digital items and simply read, have a warm bath, meditate, or talk with your partner, children, or friends. Technology is prevalent in this day and age, but at night, a return to more simple means is recommended for health, longevity, and happiness.
Tip 25: The Mighty O
Notice how men fall asleep after sex? Sorry, guys, but it’s true. Well, there is a biochemical explanation. During ejaculation, men release chemicals and hormones like serotonin, oxytocin, prolactin, vasopressin, and nitric oxide. Prolactin levels are naturally higher during sleep, so it’s likely that its release during orgasm causes men to fall asleep more quickly. Oxytocin and vasopressin are also associated with sleep. Maybe it’s worth following a man’s lead here.
Tip 26: Combat Jet Lag
If you regularly travel across time zones and long distances, your body clock is likely to be out of balance, with a need for readjustment. You can try taking melatonin in homeopathic form, or speak to your doctor about options for a prescription form of melatonin, if in Australia. Other countries may permit the sale of melatonin in various doses over the counter. There are other ways to help: Get used to the new destination’s time zone a few days before by slightly adjusting sleep, wake, and eating times. Also, don’t go to bed as soon as you disembark from your flight or journey if it’s daytime, but instead spend time in the sun to help reset your body clock.
Tip 27: Negative Energy Release
Sage sticks, beating loud saucepans, or simply lighting a candle and calling in God or your divine source can help rid your place of negative energy. It’s all about the intention; amazingly, it can affect moods as well as sleep quality of people in your home. If you are not comfortable with this process or feel you are not intuitive, there are energetic healers and practitioners who offer house-clearing services; check for a practitioner in your area.
Tip 28: Tapping for Stress Release
Tapping and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can be very effective for releasing issues causing stress. Practitioners can instruct you on how to use tapping sequences on various acupressure points on the face and body to release the stress underlying insomnia or whatever issues you’re dealing with. Alternatively, you can do a search online for videos incorporating various EFT sequences for insomnia or sleep. It’s all about setting an intention of your mind, identifying the trigger and tapping on it to release the charge.
Tip 29: Feng Shui Your Room
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese art and science that’s all about using energy to optimise the harmony of the individual and the home or office. In feng shui terms, it’s not a good idea to have your bed facing a doorway or a mirror. Mirrors next to your bed are another unwise feng shui move. Ideally, you want your bed to have a solid wall behind it, representing support while sleeping, and positioned diagonally opposite the entrance to the room. There are countless books, guides, and practitioners who can direct you on the correct layout for the best way to maximise sleep quality.