**When is the last time you had a good night’s sleep?
Hopefully last night, but if you are one of the millions of people that suffer with insomnia, consider some eastern principles to help.**
Timing is Everything
Most people perform best when they get between 7-9 hours per night. You know how much you need by going to bed and waking up naturally without an alarm.
The Ancient Chinese discovered a “body clock” as a way to understand the way that energy moves throughout our organs to restore our body. Chinese Medicine’s 24 hour body clock is divided into 12 two-hour intervals of the Qi (vital force) moving through the organ system. During sleep, Qi is drawn inward to restore the body. Night is the most YIN time of the day.
According to the Ancient Chinese, the best time to go to sleep is between 9-10pm. You want to be fully asleep by the start of Gall Bladder time (11pm) to get rejuvenating solid rest, especially if you have been under stress.
Make sure your body is well supported.
Your bed should be solid with a substantial headboard, and the mattress shouldn’t be more than 8 years old. A good pillow is key- especially if you’re like me and have neck pain. I recently found Mediflow pillows which feature a waterbase but trust me-- you don’t feel like you’re sleeping on a waterbed.
To ease my own neck pain, I compared the fiberfill and the memory gel foam. Both provide great “responsive” support so when you shift at night, the support subtly moves with you as you change positions. I liked the Mediflow Gel Memory Foam best. It doesn’t get hot like other memory foam pillows, it’s soft yet supportive, and I wake up refreshed.
Detox from Screens
Screens are mostly YANG energy. We want to encourage the shift from YANG to YIN to promote deep rejuvenating rest at night. Give your brain time to wind down and turn off your screens 1 hr. before bed. This includes phone, computer, TV, I-pad, etc. If you want to unwind, try reading an actually paper book... the more boring the better!
Feng Shui Your Bedroom
By “Good Feng Shui” we mean good energy in the space. Your things create energy around you. The number one way you can improve the Feng Shui of your bedroom is to de-clutter (google KonMari method if you need guidance).
Other Feng Shui ideas include placing your bed against a solid wall, design for relaxation using light, peaceful colors, and remove the TV or keep it in a closed cabinet.
Minimize using the bathroom at night by cutting off your intake of liquids about 1 hr. prior to going to sleep. If you absolutely need to drink, have a sip of water rather than chug a whole glass.
Alcohol late at night disrupts REM cycles so you get restless sleep. Since it’s a diuretic, it causes more trips to the bathroom and can increase sweating at night. Moderate or consider cutting it out completely if you're having a lot of trouble sleeping.
Keep it Cool... and Dark
Again, sleep is YIN time. Cool and Dark are both Yin qualities, so both will encourage a good nights rest. Get some blackout curtains and turn your thermostat down!
Think of this as a way to begin to nourish your body and live with the natural rhythms. Life becomes quiet at night, and to live in balance so should we!
If these self help tips aren’t enough, seek out a qualified practitioner of Chinese Medicine. Both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine have been used to treat insomnia successfully for thousands of years. Try asking around for recommendations or searching the National Certification Commission for someone in your area.
A good night of sleep makes all the difference in our health, viality and longevity so don't compromise it!
ps. Head over to our instagram for a special Mediflow pillow giveaway!