Sleep Patterns and Health.

Sleep Patterns vary for all of us, Naturopathy, Nutrition & Herbal Medicine student Olivia Kennedy explores what happens to the body and mind between 1 – 3am, should we be thinking about our Liver or is this is an encoded Meditation Time?

An interesting article was posted on The Washington Post website called “Want to enjoy the deep, mystical sleep of our ancestors?  Turn your lights off at dusk” by Clark Strand.  Here is the link:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/05/19/want-to-experience-the-deep-mystical-sleep-of-our-ancestors-turn-your-lights-off-at-dusk/

We assume that our ancestors slept all of the way through from sunset to sunrise, and some hard-core ‘Paleo’ followers turn off all electricity when the sun disappears, but after doing this for three weeks you will wake at four to six hours after sunset.  You will not be ready to wake up at this time, but you will experience “a period of serene wakefulness that was once a nightly meditation retreat for all Homo sapiens on Earth”, because it’s encoded into our genes.  It was found that our natural sleep pattern is to sleep deeply for four hours, wake for two hours of quiet rest, and then sleep deeply for another four hours.  During the two hours in the middle, our ancestors were neither awake nor asleep, it was like a state of meditation/mindfulness.

This interested me because according to the traditional Chinese Organ Clock, waking during 1 and 3am indicates that the liver is imbalanced/overworking.  If a client presented with waking during these times as a symptom, I would automatically address their liver.

This article has reminded me that there are many possible underlying causes of a problem, therefore, being open-minded is an essential part of being a natural healer.

Despite the strength of the ‘evidence-based’ movement integrating into our modality, we must not forget traditional knowledge and wisdom which has survived for thousands of years.  In relative times, modern medicine is the new kid on the block compared to traditional, complementary and alternative medicine, which have been effective throughout generations.

Here is a picture of the Chinese Medicine Meridian Clock.  The bottom half represents night time and the top half represents day time.  The next layer shows the 5 Chinese elements.  The following layer represents organs in the body.  The final layer shows the times of the day.

Chinese-Meridian-clock

http://www.holisticbynature.com.au/2014/04/why-you-wake-up-at-the-same-time-every-night-pt-1/

 

Olivia Kennedy ~ final year Naturopathy, Nutrition & Herbal Medicine student