Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Our society is sleeping less and less and doing more and more. Energetically, when we are sleep deprived we don't have all of our resources available to handle daily life challenges. Our judgement becomes impaired and what would have been a minor difficulty (on a good nights sleep) becomes a major issue when we are sleep deprived. Good sleep is a crucial self care habit that helps our bodies energies run optimally. Other important reasons for a "healthy sleep style," are that sleep:
- Reduces emotional imbalances such as irritability, depression, anxiety
- Helps the body to repair and rejuvenate itself
- Strengthens the immune system
- Enhances alertness, memory, communication and overall mental performance
- Increases our ability to manage stress
- Restores your adrenals
- Helps to maintain healthy body weight and reduces over eating
- Reduces risks of illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease
- Promotes health and wellness
- Makes us all nicer people
Energy Medicine Quick Tips For Sleep
Make your bedroom a Sanctuary
The wisdom of Feng Shui tells us that the bedroom is best preserved as a sanctuary. Computers, TVs, cell phones and office activity in the bedroom hinders the sense of restfulness we need to feel calm and restful in this space. Create a gentle, low-tech retreat from the world in your bedroom. Remove items that have any association with stress or stressful events. As you are looking around your bedroom ask yourself, does this make me feel calm, relaxed and comfortable? Find ways to create total darkness in your bedroom at night. Complete darkness signals your pineal gland to release melatonin, a natural sleep hormone.
Lights Out by 10:00pm
Establish a bedtime routine that includes lights-out by 10 p.m. The Triple Warmer Meridian is our energy of defense, and it is designed to be restored during its peak time between 9 and 11 p.m. Winding down during that time helps you to avoid a second-wind, hyper-alert state that can be triggered by excitement in that time frame. Once you are running on adrenaline, it becomes more challenging for your body to relax. Try the Triple Warmer Smoothie between 9-11pm or anytime you awaken during the night.
Triple Warmer Smoothie
Calming Triple Warmer Meridian acts to balance many other systems and helps your body relax. Beginning with your fingertips at your temples, inhale while bringing your fingers in front of your ears and then above your ears, and exhale. Inhale again, and on the exhale trace your fingers slowly around behind your ears and down to the top of your shoulders. Inhale, and on the exhale drag your hands down and cross them over your heart.
Meridian Flow Wheel and Your Circadian Rhythm
Just as Triple Warmer is at its peak from 9-11pm, every meridian has a 2-hour high-time and low-time within a 24-hour day. Many difficulties with sleep will happen when the body's own Circadian Rhythm is out of sync. This can happen when you travel across multiple time zones, experience a time change like Daylight Savings time coming on March 11th, work the night shift, or feeding an infant through the night. It is easy to reset our body's biological rhythm by tracing your meridians. Always trace Central and Governing Meridians first and then begin with the meridian that falls within the current time of day. For example, if you want to trace them before bedtime at 10pm, then follow Central and Governing by tracing Triple Warmer and then each meridian that follows around the wheel repeating Triple Warmer again and closing with Central and Governing. If you are working the night shift or dealing with time zone changes, begin by tracing before you go to sleep and then again when you awaken. When I travel I do it before the airplane lifts off, every fewhours in flight (estimating the current time), upon landing in the new time zone, before bed and upon waking. For more information on meridian tracing we offer a DVD and Chart. Use the Meridian Flow Wheel to improve your sleep in other ways too. For example, if you are waking between 1-3am which is Liver's peak time, you can Sedate Liver by tracing the Liver Meridian backwards several times during this time. You could also hold Liver Sedating Points prior to falling asleep. If you consistently awaken between 3-5am needing to urinate, you might look to Lung's opposite partner Bladder which is at its lowest energy level creating difficulty for the Bladder to hold the urine until morning. Sedating Bladder Meridian before bed or between 3-5am would be helpful. However, if you are waking between 3-5am due to cough or asthmatic response, then you need to look at Sedating the Lung Meridian which has become over active during its peak time. For more information on Acupressure Strengthening and Sedating Points a Chart and DVD are available.
Expelling the Venom:
Here is another excellent stress reduction tip that helps you let go of any lingering stress from your day. Standing with your feet parallel. Bring both arms in front of you with your elbows slightly bent, make a fist with both hands. Take a full breath as you swing your arms out to your sides, back and and then over your head, and hold a moment. Open fists so palms are facing down as you push your palms down toward the ground on the exhale. Emphatically releasing any stressors you are hanging onto. Let your breath out with a "whoosh" or "Shhhhhh" sound. Repeat several times. On the last time, bring your arms down in a slow and controlled manner, as you blow out your breath.
Eat and Drink Calm Producing Substances
Avoid Foods and Beverages that have caffeine and sugar such as coffee, caffeinated tea, alcohol, desserts and snacks. If you love your coffee or black tea, try taking it before noon. Caffeine consumption stresses the adrenal glands; a common sign of adrenal gland stress is a boost of wakefulness at bedtime. Phase out caffeine for a month or two to discover if it has been contributing to your sleep problems. Take a moment to learn more about Well Within and Energy Medicine