How Ancient Medicine Can Help Us With Our Sleep Problems

How Ancient Medicine Can Help Us With Our Sleep Problems

Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t come easily for many of us. With all the distractions of modern life, drifting off into a blissful slumber can often feel like hard work, after a day of staring at various screens.

Some even take to sleeping pills and other medications to combat the problem, but this is far from ideal. It’s much better to try and tackle the problem naturally.


There are a number of different schools of thought when it comes to how to do this. With its ancient traditions, Chinese medicine can tell us what waking up at specific hours of the night means, and what we can do to stop it from happening.

According to this school of thought, if you wake up at odds hour in the night, here is what your body could be telling you:

Difficulty Sleeping Between 9-10 p.m – You May Be Stressed

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This is quite early for most of us, but if you go to bed early and you’re finding yourself unable to drift off, it could be stress taking a toll on your body. When we lay down in the dark, often things can play on our mind. To combat this, try meditation before you go to bed. Emma Richards of Marie Claire also suggests Yoga Nidra, or sleep meditation, to really usher in a good night’s sleep.

Waking Up Between 11 p.m. And 1 a.m – You May Be Experiencing Emotional Disappointment

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One of the key features of Chinese medicine is that physical parts of the body are linked with our mental wellbeing. It The gall bladder, which is thought to be closely linked to how we feel within ourselves, is highly active during this time. If you are experiencing this type of sleep disruption, try practicing mantras and self-acceptance. It’s an ongoing process, so don’t expect a quick fix, but it can be helpful.

Waking Up Between 1-3 a.m – You May Be Holding on to Anger

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The Traditional Chinese Medicine Foundation notes that various issues to do with liver functionality are typically associated with pent-up anger and frustration. In this case, suggests slowly drinking a cold glass of water as well as practicing meditation in order to help ease the tension.

Music can help, too – there are plenty of meditation playlists out there on the various music streaming programs we use, or even better, you could create your own playlist of tracks that help to calm you down.

Waking Up Between 3-5 a.m – You May be Experiencing a Spiritual Awakening

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Sounds pretty far out I know, but hear me out for a minute. According to Chinese medicine, this time of night corresponds to the lungs, which are emotionally connected to sadness and grief, and suggests that a greater power or presence may be relaying a message to you. Being awake at this time may be a sign that a spiritual or divine being is attempting to guide you to a greater purpose.

If you are experiencing deficient lungs or have symptoms including pessimism, self-pity, injustice, and desperation it’s important to reevaluate your worldview. The phrase “able to breathe” is not only about the physical ability to breathe but also refers to your emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Try practicing breathing exercises and meditation to induce sleep.

Waking Up Between 5-7 a.m – You May Be Experiencing Emotional Blocks:

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This might be related to intestinal health. Intestinal problems are tied to emotional imbalances, according to Stepping Stone Acupuncture and Wellness. “An emotional imbalance in the large intestine energy could manifest as chronic constipation, but it could also manifest as a tendency to hold on to the negative”

Healthy large intestines allow you to better cope with negative thoughts. They allow us to admonish energy or thoughts that don’t serve us or help us grow. This refers to both physical and emotional health. In this case, suggests doing some stretches before attempting to sleep again.

All in all, it is evident that Chinese medicine places emphasis on the union of mind and body, and the idea that physical components of our bodies are directly connected to how our mind behaves.

In other words, our mental health and physical health are one and the same, so if you look after your body, you will likely get more sleep, and most importantly, better sleep.

Try meditation and yoga, or even just some gentle stretches before bed. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.

I hope you’ve found this article helpful and interesting. Remember folks, I’m not qualified to give any kind of medical advice. These are just guidelines. If you continue to have problems with your sleep, speak to your doctor.

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