In Chinese medicine it is referred to as the body-energy clock, where Qi (energy) moves in two hour intervals through the body organ system. During sleep, the Qi is drawn inward to restore the body and during the day the Qi moves outward to assist in the bodily functions such as digestion and elimination.
Lungs are at their peak in the early morning, which is why it is best to schedule exercise at that time of day rather than later. Also active in the morning hours is the large intestine.
The liver is at its peak between 1 am - 3 am which is the time when we are most often in our deepest sleep and the body and mind is the calmest.The liver stores and cleanses blood as well as hormones and our emotions.
This is why even a one-hour-shift of sleep has impact on us physically and mentally. It is important for our health to choose lifestyle habits that help us synchronize our body systems to the ebb and flow of energy.
- Follow the sun ~ In the morning open the shades and let the light in. This will help you get moving in the morning. Get as much light during the day as possible. At night as you are bringing your energy down ready for sleep, dim the lights. Try to keep out light in the room you sleep in, as much as possible.
- Adjust your activity levels ~ Make the morning hours your most active times. Wind down and take it easy the closer it gets to sleep time - - including usage of electronics. Read, write or do other calming activities just before lights out.
- Adjust meal schedule ~Eat your largest meals during the morning and afternoon when your digestive organs are functioning at their peak. Eating a big meal before bed often leaves you with a heavy feeling and it makes the body work harder during its resting time.
- Adjust your mind ~ Don’t sleep in even if you are up late. There really is no catching up on sleep. The body functions better when we stick with a habitual schedule as much as possible. If getting up in the dark is required for your work, use bright lighting as you prepare your day. If you have to sleep while it is still light, block out as much light as possible.