If you are waking at this time every night or even most nights, you are not alone.
This occurrence is not normal, BUT it is common.
What does it mean?
Why would so many American’s be jolted awake at this particular time?
Let’s look to the wisdom of Ancient Oriental medicine, which uses a very systematic approach to your bodies vital organ’s in order to keep you feeling healthy, vital and juicy!
A circadian clock is at the heart of this systematic approach, it looks at what organ in your body is at it’s peak performance at what time of day. Each organ peaks for 2 hours. For example the stomach is at it’s peak between the hours of 7-9am which is ideally the time you eat your first meal of the day.
The pericardium, which is the envelope around the heart and is said to be the gatekeeper of the heart, peaks between the hours of 7-9pm. The pericardium lets certain energies in and keeps other energies out, it is known for it’s social capabilities in that way. For example when you meet Mr. Sleezy your pericardium kicks in and helps you to move away from Mr. Sleezy as quickly as possible. In days of old, between 7-9pm (after dinner hours) was often the time families would gather around the fire and read or share stories or sing together with their own musical accompaniment. In this case the pericardium kicks in to help you receive all the love and connection that surrounds you.
This kind of human connection is deeply nourishing for the soul!
So what organ peaks in the hours between 1-3am?
The liver is your body’s filter; it cleans and detoxifies all the blood in your body. The liver also opens to the eyes, including your 3rd eye. It supports your visions your plans for the future and how you see the world around you. When the liver gets deep rest between the hours of 1-3am you will wake feeling refreshed and renewed, with a strong sense of confidence and capability! On the other hand if you keep waking up every night at this time disturbed by the busyness of your mind, it means the liver has been compromised by STRESS.
Ohhh Stress, that powerful energy in our lives that by definition breeds discontentment and induces suffering. What is stress anyway? Everyone understands it and can relate to it. It cannot be seen or touched, it has no clear image and it holds no boundaries, but it’s there! You can feel it.
The gripping feeling of stress shows up in the form of different feelings, depending on who you are. For you it could manifest as worry, or anxiety or even paranoia. It could also show up physically, for example in the form of hives, acne, or headaches (incidentally all these physical symptoms indicate stagnancy in the liver as well.)
In Chinese medicine we call this Liver Chi Stagnation, which means that the energy that circulates through your liver is not circulating well and since blood follows energy, your blood is also not circulating well. Thus, the gunk that you ingest via food, drink, and air is not getting filtered out of your bloodstream causing you to feel gunky!
SO in laymen’s terms stress equals feeling funk and gunk in your body, and nobody likes that feeling. Sometime stress cannot be avoided…..and sometimes it can…… You have to be the judge of that in your own life. When it can’t be avoided you can use the principles of mindfulness and instead of thinking of your-“self” as stressed you can think about the stress as something that is just happening, and you happen to be in the way of it. From this perspective it is a lot easier to let go of the tight feelings and uncomfortable emotions that stress brings. Rather than getting stuck in the grips of those uncomfortable feelings you can start to examine them as if they are not yours. One helpful approach to this practice is to think about what’s happening in your life as if it is happening in your neighbors’ life. From this viewpoint you can gain a bigger perspective on the situation at hand, thus allowing you to open to more ideas on how to navigate through it.
Will this help you sleep through the night?
If you become efficient in this practice you will start to see all things as “just happening,” rather than “happening to you,” and this lets your nervous system relax more, which will help you digest better, sleep better, breathe better, and enjoy life more!
When you hear about someone else stressful situation, you say, “oh, that’s too bad,” but inside you think, “they will figure it out, they will get through it.” Well…. the same is true for you…..you just have to open your vision to it.