The Chinese Body Clock: Why You Wake Up Every Night At The Same Time

The Chinese Body Clock: Why You Wake Up Every Night At The Same Time

Do you keep waking up at 2 am every night even though you were dead asleep? Do you find it difficult to go back to sleep once you are awake? Did you know this type of insomnia is more common than you think? If you are wondering why exactly this happens, then the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) might have an answer for you.

According to ancient beliefs based on the Chinese Body Clock, our body follows a strict and detailed self-regulating, self-care routine to take care of our organs at specific times every day.

“Secret prescriptions cure serious diseases.” – Chinese saying

What’s the Chinese Body Clock?

“With the right kinds of energy, every disease is curable.” – Julia H Sun

Chinese Body Clock

The Chinese Body Clock, also known as the Chinese Meridian Clock, is a valuable tool in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This concept of organ clock explains that Qi (or ch’i), or vital force or energy, moves through the various organs and meridians, or energy channels, of our body during a 24-hour cycle. The Qi is believed to be most active in a specific organ and helps improve its functions every two hours within our body.

Moreover, according to this 2,500-year-old belief, our emotions are connected with our mind and body. Hence if your physical body or your mental state is in disharmony then it will directly impact your emotional well being. This may lead to insomnia and broken sleep patterns, especially when the organs experience unbalanced meridian, as per the TCM body clock.

As different meridians become more active during different times, you experience different sensations during different hours of the day, when a specific meridian is strongest.

So if you are having stomach problems, you will likely feel its effects during 7 am and 9 am as the stomach meridian is highly active at this time. However, an abdominal pain may not always be the only symptom of an unbalanced stomach. You can experience toothache, gum pain, nose bleeding, sore throat or even nausea due to stomach problems. The unbalanced stomach meridian may also lead to adverse emotional and mental levels according to the Chinese Body Clock.

Moreover, our body clock also suggests that specific activities can be performed best at particular times. By following our natural and biological rhythm, we can improve the way our meridians are balanced.

Can the Chinese Body Clock help you?

“A saying from the area of Chinese medicine would be appropriate to mention here: ‘One disease, long life; no disease, short life.’ In other words, those who know what’s wrong with them and take care of themselves accordingly will tend to live a lot longer than those who consider themselves perfectly happy and neglect their weakness. So, in that sense at least, a Weakness of some sort can do you a big favor, if you acknowledge that it’s there.” – Benjamin Hoff

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, every function in our body is related to a certain time based on our internal clock. Each individual organ is activated by Qi for a period of 2 hours each day. During these two hours, blood and energy or Qi enters different organs in our body and moves through all the 12 meridians. The specific organs and all the related meridians work the hardest as they are energized which also affect your productivity and your emotions.

This concept of body clock can help us realign our day in smarter way that is most beneficial for our body, mind and emotions. Practitioners of TCM believe that the daily rise and fall in our strength and stamina can help us understand our concealed health imbalances. You will feel low and experience particular symptoms when the Qi is not flowing properly in a certain meridian. Our body speaks to us through these symptoms that offer us hints about what’s going on inside and what we need to do about it. Listening to and understanding these patterns can enable you to realize what you need specifically to make yourself feel better. So if you are waking up at 2 am every night, then you can tune into your Chinese Body Clock to find out the reason for your insomnia.

How the Body Clock works

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the body clock is a useful tool that helps us utilize every moment of the 24 hour cycle and tells us the best times to eat, rest, have sex or exercise. It is also a means of communication that our body uses to send signals from an organ or meridian. Once the entire cycle complete over a period of 24 hours, it repeats again the next day. 

Here is a closer look at the details of the Chinese body clock so that you can better understand all the hints and clues your body is sending you.

1. Large Intestine Hand-Yangming: 5 AM – 7 AM

If you tend to wake up during this time period, then your large intestine is trying to communicate with you about something. 5 am to 7 am is a great time to have your first bowel movement to remove unnecessary toxins from your body from previous day. Moreover, waking up just before sunrise can be beneficial for your mental and emotional health as you are most reflective at this time. This is also an excellent time to cleanse your body with a bath. You should also comb your hair during this time period as it is believed that the act of combing helps to release excess energy from your mind. However, you may experience feelings of defensiveness.

If you keep waking up between 5 am and 7 am, then it means you need to focus on hydrating your body properly and getting adequate fiber as the large intestine is tasked with getting rid of digestive waste regularly. Being reflective, you may experience feelings of being stuck in particular scenarios which can overwhelm you and lead to negative emotions. You should focus on releasing these negative feelings to move on emotionally and physically.

Symptoms of unbalanced meridian:

Here are some of the physical and emotional level symptoms that you may experience during this time period:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sore throat
  • Toothache
  • Nose bleeds
  • Deafness
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Defensiveness
  • Feeling stuck
  • Difficulty in letting go 

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