Insomnia per organum – who keeps me from sleeping at night?

Recently a friend of mine told me that he wakes up every night between 04:00 and 04:30 and most of the time he can’t fall asleep anymore. Now, in addition to the environment (too bright, too warm, too loud), this can of course have psychological reasons – stress, worries, thoughts that cannot be turned off, etc.

In addition, such sleep difficulties can also have physical triggers.

Everyone knows, of course, how important sleep is for regeneration. Athletes in particular should always be aware of this: Too little sleep can lead to a stop in progress (a so-called “performance plateau”) or even to a drop in performance. Muscle building does not take place during sport, but afterwards. Especially the deep sleep is important for this, because in this phase the body is “repaired”, among other things the muscle fibers damaged or stressed during the training.

But what about our internal organs? Brain, stomach, liver, kidneys – they all follow a certain rhythm with active and regeneration phases, just the same as our muscles. Recent studies seem to prove what Traditional Chinese Medicine has taught for thousands of years: Every organ has a time window in which it works particularly hard and in which discomfort or problems are perceived particularly strongly.

Gall bladder, liver and lungs are particularly active at night:
From about 23:00 to 01:00 o’clock is the time of the gallbladder. In this phase our body is adjusted to sleep, all vital functions are shut down. The consumption of (heavy) meals and alcohol should now be avoided.
Afterwards, between 01:30 and 03:00 at night, the liver is particularly active. This explains why we often wake up during this period of the night after drinking alcohol in the evening : More alcohol means more work for the liver and stronger negative effects in the form of sleep disorders or even insomnia.
Then it’s time for the lungs to cleanse between about 03:00 and 05:00. Especially in this phase it is important to sleep with an open window so that they get plenty of fresh air for this process. (If you don’t want to sleep with an open window, you should at least thoroughly ventilate before going to bed.)

Even if the exact times of the organ activities are certainly individual, my suspicion that the sleep disorders of my friend are due to the liver activity will probably not be confirmed, because the period does not fit. Nevertheless, I recommended him to give up his ritual of “goodnight beer” for a while to see if this has a negative influence after all. Although it is only a single light beer, a sensitive liver could already suffer from it.

My friend and I agreed completely that it is definitely FIBER a try. 😉

P.S. In case of sleep disorders due to stress or worries, any kind of meditation is much more recommended than an after-work beer – this may be autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation or your own individual method. For my part, I relax particularly well when I simply listen to my favourite music through the headphones, so that the environment is completely excluded. I am then completely alone in my head and can consciously steer my thoughts in a positive direction – for example, to have a session of mental training. 🙂

Picture and further information about the TCM organ cycle:

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