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I knew as soon as I came to that it was stupid o’clock.  It wasn’t quite dark still, but it certainly wasn’t light, and I couldn’t hear the hot water chugging away.  Ugh!  Thankfully I don’t do this very often, but I’ve got a lot on my mind at the moment, so I suppose I shouldn’t be totally surprised.  Then again I’ve always got a lot on my mind, but I don’t always wake up at 5am (I do usually wake up around 6, but then I go to bed at 10, so no surprises there).  So why this morning (and other mornings when I wake this early)?

When I think about my friends and some of the clients I have seen, dropping off to sleep is usually not the issue, it’s waking up in the night and then being unable to get back to sleep.  Sound familiar?  You’re totally shattered, having been up since 3.30am, you crawl into bed and fall straight to sleep…only to be awake at 3.30am again, and are then unable to drop back off.  In the end you get up and go on Facebook.  Go on, admit it.  I’ve seen your updates!  And so the cycle continues.

According to TCM (that’s Traditional Chinese Medicine don’t you know!), each organ has a period throughout the 24 hours of the day when it’s most active, so you can begin to identify what might be a contributing factor if you continually wake up around the same time every night.  1am to 3am is the liver, 3am to 5am is the lungs, and 5am to 7am is the large intestine (and yes, I did need ‘to go’ when I woke up at 5.10am this morning!).  Keep waking up just before 3am?  Try including more protein and fat with each meal and snack throughout the day, and reducing how many carbs you eat.  You might be surprised at what a difference this makes!  4.15am more your bag?  Try reducing mucus forming foods (dairy, simple carbs) and see if that helps.  Just gone 5 and you’re awake?  Try eating more fibre regularly.

You know I can help you, right?  If you’re at the end of your tether about poor sleep come and see me for a consultation, and we’ll work together to find a way to have you sleeping like a baby again (an older baby who sleeps through the night, obviously!)

And if you’re interested in the rest of that TCM map here it is – 7am – 9am stomach, 9 – 11 spleen, 11 – 1pm heart, 1 – 3 small intestine, 3 – 5 bladder, 5 – 7 kidneys, 7 – 9 pericardium (circulation, sex organs, brain), 9 – 11 endocrine system (your glands – thyroid, adrenals, pancreas etc), 11 – 1am gallbladder.  So if you have a particular time of day that is difficult for you on a repeated basis (you feel extra tired or sluggish for example), then this map gives you a place to start when trying to figure out what might be going on.

And as for me, it’s nearly time to get the kids up, so I’ll just have to put up with being a bit more tired today.  But on the plus side, I do get inspirational moments when I wake early, and today I have got a new blog post out there 😉  Happy Friday folks xx