Let’s start with insomnia. Waking up in the middle of the night is common and usually nothing serious, but can sometimes point to a more serious sleep disorder or health problem. Some people have difficulty falling asleep, some people are prone to waking up soon after falling asleep, and some dreaming toward different emotional. Those are often the body sending signals. Your body (organs) are sending messages to you, asking for help, asking for your attention to take care of your body. You need codes to unlock these messages. I will share with you the codes and the solutions to each one.

For example, some people wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning and then can’t get back to sleep. Perhaps you’re wondering what could be causing this? How to get yourself back to sleep? I make it simple with 6 major reasons. If you belong to 1st, 2nd or 3rd reason, that’s easy to change. If you belong to the rest, your body is asking for help.

Reasons You’re Waking at Night

Reason 1: night shift or babysitting
Your body is used to waking up at this time.. this you don’t need to worry, once you change the shift, your body will be able to adjust back.

Reason 2: Drinking too much alcohol (or drinking too close to bedtime)
Alcohol metabolism will reduce the impact on the body will interfere with sleep. The more you drink, the greater the disturbance to sleep, if this is the reason, you know how to do.

Reason 3: Eating too late, or too heavily
Check our article below to understand what you should eat at supper time according to your supper timeline.

Read this post about the time food spends in the stomach before emptying. Digestion Time of Various Foods

All the organs keep working even when we sleep. The only organ that rests when we sleep is the stomach. So, it is very important to make sure you count the time and decide what you can eat at dinner time. Make sure the food is able to be digested before you fall asleep.

Thinking about it: The pork you eat at 6pm, if you go sleep at 9pm, it stays in your stomach only 3 hrs. Your stomach doesn’t have enough time to digest it properly. A healthy body at an internal temperature is about 98.6°F, thinking about that, the meat put at the counter 98.6°F, an hour later, it will go rotten, if your brain didn’t wake you up at night, tomorrow morning when you wake up, stomach start work again, the rotten food sent to your whole body where it can become cancer, or cause infection. Your brain is smart to wake you up and prefer you not get sick.

Will you want to love your body to be healthier? Then you should think about what you eat at night.

We need to pay the most attention to animal protein. Here is the basic guideline you need to know (if you use butter or any kind of animal fat, then you need to add an extra 3 hours).

Chicken – 3½ to 4 hours digestion time (without skin)
Turkey – 4 to 5¼ hours digestion time (without skin)
Beef, lamb – 5 to 6 hours digestion time
Pork – 7½ to 9 hours digestion time

Reason 4: Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs during sleep. It can lead to stroke, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, diabetes, heart disease, myocardial ischemia and Alzheimer’s disease, or brain issues.

When a person is sleeping, the blood supply to the brain will be insufficient, which will stimulate the body to respond, which is to wake up the brain and then stimulate the heart to ensure the normal blood supply to the brain.

Suffering from the symptoms of myocardial ischemia will cause the brain to be in an excited state forcibly due to insufficient blood supply to the heart, allowing us to wake up and stimulate the blood supply to the heart. This is the main reason it happens.

When our brain has a long-term lack of oxygen, the nerves shrivel and you experience either brain fog, or memory loss.

Reason 5: Menopausal insomnia or Menopause

Hormonal changes often interfere with your sleep. Traditional Chinese Medicine can help. See solution #5 below.

Reason 6: Upper body muscles/ligaments
If your neck, shoulder or upper body muscles or ligaments are not at the correct place, you should see acupuncture immediately.

There is also an additional reason:

Reason 7: Aging
Older people spend less time in deep sleep, waking up from sleep an average of three or four times a night. They often experience frequent urination, pain or discomfort from chronic health problems, and sleep disturbances—including insomnia and restless leg syndrome.

Blocked Meridians

In addition to the reasons listed above, it is important that you consider that maybe the following two meridians are blocked!

1st, Liver Qi blocked, or obstructed
2nd, Lung Qi blocked, or obstructed

1. How you know its Liver Qi:
If you follow us, you know we talking about the ideal time to sleep, because 10pm to 2am is Liver detox time. If you wake up at 3, then toss and turn in bed unable to fall back asleep, or often get angry during the day, have a bad odour in mouth, or often develop oral ulcers, or gums tend to bleed when brushing teeth, or eyes are dry and itchy, or face is greasy, or your hair falls out in large amount. These phenomena are related to liver issues (like too much toxins or too much stress) and it is time to pay attention to dredging liver qi. Some herbs, or acupuncture can often help rebalance.

2nd, Lung Qi or blood blocked, or obstructed, or not flowing normally:
If you often wake up around 4 am, you may consider the lung meridian to be blocked at this time. Because the lung meridian is active between 3 to 5 am.

Our body has healing functions. When Lung Qi/ Blood doesn’t flow well, it will lead other organs that can’t receive the proper Qi or blood to heal. So your brain has to wake you up.

If you have symptoms like: frequent coughing, frequent allergies, increased number of colds, or immune system disorders, you should take care of your lungs.

Solutions for Deeper Sleep

Especially for those who wake up at 3-4am

1. Do not drink too much alcohol before sleep

2. Eat light and go to bed earlier as suggested

3. Treat your snores / sleep apnea
As long as you feel that you need more sleep, and are tired all day, then you might belong in this group. You should treat it, to prevent lack of oxygen. Long term lack of oxygen leads to memory loss or other brain issues. Chinese medicine and acupunture can do a wonderful job to resolve this issue.

4. Treatment to anti age, including avoiding upper body pain and discomfort. Make sure to have regular check ups and realignments with health professionals, including Chinese medicine, acupunture, Ciro, massage, physio, massage … those healthcare providers can help you. Your body is more valuable then your house or car.

5. Food/herbs for sleep:
Chinese medicine has great importance to dietary supplements, and insomnia is no exception. It is recommended that some natural foods can be used to replenish qi and blood and regulate the five internal organs. When the human body has sufficient qi and blood and the five internal organs are coordinated, the quality of sleep will be improved. You can consult with your Chinese medicine practitioner to customize  a plan for your needs.

6. Learn to massage these points to help you sleep (chose one of the following methods for 5 mins):

  • Use massage comb to massage your head
  • Massage your ear
  • Massage your HT7
  • Massage your inner ankle
Image showing various massage points that help with sleep

7. Do not do an intense workout, that will not make you sleep deep.

8. Relax before going to bed

  • Walk with someone you love
  • Read some relaxing books
  • Meditate
  • Listen to gentle music

Most importantly: you should turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed at night.

We hope these tips help, and wish you a great sweet night… from all of us at Oriental Medical Care