What Are My Sleep Patterns Telling Me?
Have you ever noticed that you wake up at the same time every night for a period of a few days or more? How about a short or long stint of not being able to fall asleep until after a certain time? Perhaps you can’t stay asleep in the morning past another certain time?
Well, I’ve noticed this for most of my adult life and I never truly understood what was happening until now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still infuriating and frustrating and sometimes maddening, however; I now know how to listen to my sleep patterns to learn about my body and what it is trying to tell me.
The word sleep has such power. If you stop for a moment and think about the idea that we need to shut down, process, rejuvenate, and restore daily it can become mind-blowing. Without the proper amount of sleep, our mental and intellectual capacities diminish. Without the proper amount of sleep or physical bodies begin to feel the effects immediately. Too much sleep and you’re a log for the day. To little sleep and your sharpness and mood will oversee how your day plays out.
The magic number for sleep varies upon each person, their metabolism, their activity levels, and their nutrition. My magic number is 7.5 hours of sleep. Any more or any less and I will notice the nagging difference in my homeostasis. To find your perfect amount of rest takes a long time of intentional practice. The average American window of sleep needed is between 6.5 – 8.5 hours for adults. Children as we know, need much more. I had the guidance of a medical doctor while figuring out my sleep needs. I highly recommend that you have a guide, if not a doctor assisting you should you choose to learn for yourself.
Throughout the many phases of my life, my sleep has always been different. Being an energetically empathic person, I never had the gift of easy sleep. When I was young it was the dreams, traveling, and visits that would wake me up and often terrify me. As I got older, and the hormones of change set in, the nerves of life and lack of understanding of my place in the world affected my ability to fall and stay asleep. Then came motherhood; worry, fear, caring for another more than oneself; were all reasons for disrupted sleep patterns. Now as I approach menopause my awareness is through the roof in spiritual, mental, and physical ways. Through my education both formal and self-taught, I’ve learned to read the signals my sleep patterns are trying to communicate to me.
In a recent Yi Ren QiGong training with Dr. Laura Chan, we reviewed the body/organ clock according to Qi Principles.
The general premise behind the clock is that at any given moment in time your Qi is focused on one area of your physical body or the transition between two. As you may or may not know; there are 12 major internal organ pathways in the body (6 pairs) that form a bridge between the mind and memories, emotions, intrinsic intelligence, and consciousness of the internal organs. The pairs are oppositional and supportive (below).
- Lung / Large Intestine
- Kidney / Bladder
- Liver / Gall Bladder
- Heart / Small Intestine
- Pancreas-Spleen / Stomach
- Reproductive / Lymph – Pericardium
Each organ/system also holds within; responsibilities, emotions, and virtues:
Lung / Large Intestine = Overall Practice Theme: Forgiveness
1a) Lung Responsibilities: justice, judgment, criticalness
Emotions: sadness, grief, sorrow, depression, momentum, enthusiasm
Virtues: conscience, dignity, compassion
1b) Large Intestine Responsibilities: cleansing the internal environment
Emotions: unhealthy emotions, thoughts, despair, hopelessness, forgiveness
Virtues: coolness, cleanness, forgiveness, detachment
Kidney / Bladder = Overall Practice Theme: Grounding
2a) Kidney Responsibilities: Internal power; self-will, self-confidence, self-esteem
Emotions: fear, paranoia, hate, ambition
Virtues: willingness, courage, freedom, wisdom
2b) Bladder Responsibilities: balance PNS / SNS
Emotions: gentleness, panic, fright, denial, self-pity, humility, internal conflict
Virtues: internal peace, modesty
Liver / Gall Bladder = Overall Practice Theme: Clearing and Clarity
3a) Liver Responsibilities: House of the soul; self-refinement, self-fulfillment
Emotions: anger, frustration, disappointment, failure, success, satisfaction
Virtues: integrity, loyalty, happiness
3b) Gall Bladder Responsibilities: “antenna” for other energies, ambassador for the Liver
Emotions: daring, pride, unforgiving, complaining, blaming, resentment
Virtues: bravery and honesty
Heart / Small Intestine = Overall Practice Theme: Energizing
4a) Heart Responsibilities: high self-love, spiritual love, universal love
Emotions: joy, warmth, excitement, family, community, sadness, jealousy, terror, shock
Virtues: respect, kindness, benevolence, generosity, gratitude
4b) Small Intestine Responsibilities: receive energies from the environment
Emotions: greediness, possessiveness, closeness, intimacy, privacy, secrecy, loneliness
Virtues: self-nourishment, sincerity, purity, perfection
Pancreas / Stomach = Overall Practice Theme: Clear and Protect Energy
5a) Pancreas-Spleen Responsibilities: balancing and harmonizing internal organ network
Emotions: impatience, worry, shame, guilt, self-blame, self-punishment (Food choices)
Virtues: harmony, courtesy, appropriateness, boundaries
5b) Stomach Responsibilities: provide energy to the body from foods and earth
Emotions: curiosity, anxiety, obsession, mental stress, delusion, imagination
Virtues: recognition, understanding, logic, reason, mental stress, overthinking
Reproductive / Lymph = Overall Practice Theme: Empowerment and Restoration (Boundaries)
6a) Reproductive Responsibilities: internal creativity, self-healing, renewal, refinement
Emotions: survival, personal and family relationships, shyness, shame, attachment
Virtues: creativity, vitality, longevity, immortality
6b) Lymph – Pericardium Responsibilities: self-care, self-protection (biological/energetic/spiritual)
Emotions: irritation, safety, security, violence, defensiveness
Virtues: safety, security, sacrifice, selflessness
The chart below provides a visual representation of the Time & the corresponding Organ
This is how you can take your sleep patterns as signals for your mind, body, and spirit may be facing at this time. As an example, I have been unable to fall asleep before 10pm and I am also waking up nightly at 12:30am for “no known” reason. Based upon these charts, Qi, and Chinese medicine, I should focus on the following things:
9-11pm – Triple Warmer/Reproductive – Responsibilities: internal creativity, self-healing, renewal, refinement – Emotions: survival, personal and family relationships, shyness, shame, attachment – Virtues: creativity, vitality, longevity, immortality – Element is Fire
This area of my life is lacking or stressed at this time. Hence my body/mind/spirit will not allow me to rest. The answer is to take action regarding these areas. A brief meditation about these areas of my life and how I can bring healing to myself is a great first step. The answers will come to me in meditation. This is also an area of self which is highly affected by self-care. Increasing my self-care will bring me more answers and peace. Given my energetic practices, I know that other people’s energies (mainly family) are absorbed here and stored. So, I must be more diligent about energetic cleansing before rest.
11pm-1am – Gall Bladder – Responsibilities: “antenna” for other energies, ambassador for the Liver – Emotions: daring, pride, unforgiving, complaining, blaming, resentment – Virtues: bravery and honesty – Element is Wood
Given that this is so close to the other time that is coming up for me I gather that my “antenna” needs clearing. Same issue as before sleep. Currently given the home quarantining situation family boundaries need some work. Frustrations and disappointments run higher and I am not proud of that. I also believe that I need to get outside more (Wood). Connecting to nature is grounding and clearing. Both of those elements would help me at this time.
How do I know this? I use the time to find the organ, then the other information which is listed within this blog. I then stop and think about the elements mentioned. That is where I pull on my natural intuition to answer my own question. Everyone has the answers within themselves at all given times. You just need to slow down enough to interpret them.
Should you want more guidance or information about sleep patterns and body clocks please reach out. We can schedule an appointment to review what is happening in your world, help you tap into your own answers, and bring about a level of healing and awareness that will improve your life significantly.
~ Namaste, my friend, and sleep well!
Nicole’s Education includes a B.A. in Psychology and a M.Ed., concentration in counseling from Rivier University. She holds an additional post-graduate certificate in Human Resources form SNHU. In addition to her formal education, Nicole is a Certified Clinical Hypnotist and a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists. Nicole has completed certifications in; Neuro Linguistic Programming, Reiki, Qi Gong, Numerology, IET, Chronotherapy, and Aromatherapy.
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