A recent study by the UK’s Mental Health Foundation showed that 30% of the British population suffer from sleep deprivation, while in the US the CDC shows the national average sits more around 35%. For some people it is not being able to go to sleep, while for many others the challenge is waking up during the night and finding themselves unable to go back to sleep.
Either of these challenges can leave you feeling fatigued and struggling during the day, often affecting mental clarity and physical dexterity. In this blog we’ll explore ways in which energy medicine can help.
You can struggle to sleep due to stress, hormone imbalance, or from having stimulants in the whole-body system that mean that body is unable to drop down into sleep (such as caffeine or sugar).
When we are experiencing stress our yang protective system, Triple Warmer, becomes hyper alert. This moves us into fight/flight or freeze which in turn activates the adrenal glands to produce the hormone adrenaline. This wonderful hormone is designed to enable you to run or fight and as such it triggers a vast response of chemical reactions within the body that boost your energy and alertness. This is great if you are creating adrenaline in order to run a race, but not so much if you are actually trying to sleep!
Within the circadian rhythm of 24 hours each meridian comes into a two hour period of supremacy; it is the meridian that is most energised in the entire meridian system. Triple Warmer comes into its strength at 9pm until 11pm. In previous times, when we didn’t have the luxury of artificially lit rooms to extend out daylight hours, we would either have been asleep by this time, or at least asleep by the time that Triple Warmer moved over to give Gallbladder (11pm-1am) its role in the horary cycle. And here is the kicker; if we are still awake by 11pm Triple Warmer decides that actually things are out of balance and it starts producing more adrenaline. This interrupts the entire hormonal cycle whereby serotonin production is sacrificed for adrenaline production. This will be all too familiar for those of you who get your second wind around 9pm.
So, if being asleep before 11pm is too much for you to consider then at least be in a relaxed mode (yoga/reading/doing your Daily Energy Routine before bed/meditating).
Don’t take any stimulants such as caffeine or sugar prior to bedtime. It may be that for you are able to have that cup of tea or slice of chocolate cake after dinner, but maybe it needs to be after lunch instead to give your body time to process the effects of the stimulants. Many times I have clients who feel that their evening cup of tea and dessert are nothing to do with not being able to sleep well, but when they experiment with not having them after dinner then they are able to sleep with ease. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have that tea/coffee or sugar, but that you are needing to work with your own whole-body system to be able to absorb those stimulants well before you are asking your body to move into sleep. Good attention to supporting spleen is also great if you’ve had some sugar or stimulants.
Energy Medicine approaches to help you have the best nights sleep:
Hold the main neurovascular points while in bed. Use pillows to support your arms so you are completely relaxed. Think about your stressors while helping your neurological pathways repattern away from the stress response.
Hook up. You can do a hook up for many many minutes. Again make sure that your arms are supported so that you can fall to sleep while doing it.
Do the Peaceful Heart exercise before getting into bed or while in bed
Visualise figure 8s around your body in every direction, every size….it is the energy medicine equivalent of counting sheep, deeply relaxing, and regenerates your aura even while you are getting to sleep. It will probably mean that even if you don’t get your required hours of sleep you will still feel vibrant the following day.
For the same reason as above, spooning your feet is also a good thing to do before going to bed. Being deeply grounded as you sleep with enhance the quality of your sleep.
Place both your hands over your heart and pay attention to your breathing. You can move into the Dragon breath if you are familiar with it.
Place one hand on the heart and the other on the lower abdomen (2nd chakra). This is a deeply connective hold that relaxes the whole-body system inviting peace and sleep.
I hope this helps,
With love, Prune