Do you want to sleep like a baby?
… Trust me, we all do.
As most of you know, we spend 1/3 of our life sleeping. For this reason, we need to effectively learn how to sleep like a champ.
But, if you want to be a champion, you need to act and sleep like one. I’m serious here. In many ways, improving your sleeping habits may take lots of practice.
Sometimes, I wish it was as easy as laying down, closing your eyes and passing out. But for many, it’s not.
With that in mind, I will now share nine quick tips to improve the quality of your sleep.
Using Traditional Chinese Medicine as our guide, we can conquer insomnia together.
So kick back, relax and enjoy this article on how to sleep like a baby…
1. First, Understand The Cause of Your Insomnia
Conventional Medicine treats insomnia with the same method for every patient. You may have heard a Doctor tell you this before, “Take this pill and come back in six months.”
But, do you honestly believe a standard treatment protocol works for every person?
… No way, Jose!
However, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, there is more than one pattern for sleep disorders. To get a better insight to the cause of insomnia, an Acupuncturist will commonly ask these questions:
1. Do you have a hard time falling asleep?
2. Do you wake up frequently during the night?
3. Do you often dream? If so, do you have nightmares?
4. Do you wake up to use the restroom at night?
5. Do you feel sleepy/fatigued during the day?
6. How long have you had insomnia for?
7. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
8. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the worst) how would you rate your insomnia?
After asking the questions, the correct treatment strategy can be employed.
2. Say Goodnight To Your Insomnia With Acupuncture
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we commonly use Acupuncture. This is a painless and potent way to manage sleep disorders from the root (cause) and not the branch (symptoms).
Further, one session won’t cut it. Acupuncture works with the natural cycles of the body. Therefore, to see results, we always recommend regular treatments.
Bear in mind, Acupuncture is not just needles. It’s a philosophy. During a treatment, the Acupuncture Doctor will always suggest a few easy to make lifestyle recommendations.
To learn some of these essential tips, read on…
3. Go To Bed Before 11pm
Why 11 pm? Great question! According to Chinese Medicine, 11pm is when the Gallbladder (11pm-1am) and Liver (1-3am) organs work their hardest.
As we know, the Liver makes bile from the gallbladder and produces proteins specific for clotting factors (helps us not to bleed).
Most importantly, at night, the Liver cleans and repairs the blood of all toxins. If you’re not in bed by around this time, the blood won’t properly repair and detoxify itself.
Therefore, if your sleep cycle is out of whack, the body will produce an abnormal amount of serotonin at night. This will cause havoc on your adrenals and the whole body.
4. Stay Awake & Active During The Day
Is this article putting you to sleep? If so, WAKE UP!
In Chinese Medicine, we need to balance both yin and yang. Yin represents night-time and sleep. While, yang represents day-time and being awake.
For this reason, during the day, it’s vital to stay active and keep busy. If not, you may have a rough time falling and staying asleep.
(However, taking a quick power-nap in the middle of your day is okay.)
5. Adapt Your Sleep Schedule To The Seasons
According to Chinese Medicine, we need to adapt to each season. Here are some quick guidelines:
Winter – go to bed early (soon after the setting of the sun), and wake up late.
Spring – go to bed early, but wake up early.
Summer – go to bed late, but wake up early.
Autumn – go to bed late, but rise up late.
I know, it’s confusing, but you get the idea. Basically, sleep more during the colder seasons and less so in the warmer months. Simple.
6. Don’t Eat Too Much Nor Too Little Before Bed
From the point of view of Chinese Medicine, don’t eat a HUGE meal late at night. Over eating before bed may cause “food stagnation.” This is when the digestive system slows down and stops functioning well. You may experience stomach upset, bloating, abdominal pain, etc.
Further, don’t skip dinner or go to bed with an empty stomach either. Make sure you have enough food to maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the night. If not, you may find yourself waking up at midnight, starving.
7. Turn Off All Electronics One Hour Before Sleeping
I hope you’re not up late right now reading this on your computer. If so, finish this article and go straight to bed. I know, I’m really mean, but I want to see you healthy.
In the Journal of Applied Physiology (May issue) the study explains how bright lights from computer screens throw off the production of melatonin (the hormone in our body that regulates sleep).
Therefore, turn everything off one hour before bed. This helps give your body time to slow down and begin to fall asleep.
8. Stretch For Five Minutes Before Bed
Everyday, we engage in different activities and stressors. This creates mental and physical tension in the body. The best way to let them go is simply stretch for five minutes right before bed.
In one example, get on the floor and sit on your bum. Bring your legs out in front of you and try to touch your toes. If you can’t touch your toes, it’s okay. As long as you feel a slight stretch your doing it right. Now, breathe in and breath out. Hold for a minute and keep breathing. It’s that easy.
Find three or so easy postures to practice at night. Again, only five minutes is enough.
9. What On EARTH Is Earthing?
The last but not least, have you ever heard about “Earthing” before? It’s awesome! Heres the idea. You and the Earth are both electrical.
By connecting your bare-feet to the Earth’s natural surface (soil, grass, sand, etc.), the free-electrons in the ground can stabilize your electrical energy. Earthing is one of the simplest ways to reconnect and feel grounded.
Many people report feeling more natural energy, improved mood and especially better sleep. To learn more, check out www.earthing.com.
The Bottom Line
Whatever your sleep was like in the past is only water under the bridge. Let that go.
Also, don’t incorporate all nine tips right now. Instead, start off by adding just one or two.
… Yawwwn, all this talk about sleep is making me tired. I’m going to bed now.
-Dr. Chris, L.Ac.
-Journal of Applied Physiology Published 1 May 2011 Vol. 110 no. 5, 1432-1438.
-Kaptchuk, Ted. The Web That Has No Weaver. New York: Congton and Weed,
-Ober, Clinton. Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever. 2nd Edition,
-Porth Mattson Carol. Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States. 8th Edition.
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009.
Post shared on Simply Natural Saturdays