Waking up at 3am is a really common complaint, and it’s can be down to one organ that carries out its main functions at 3am. Modern diets and lifestyles put a lot of pressure on the body, whether it’s from eating too much fatty food and refined sugar, from the consumption of alcohol or stimulants, or from too much stress – or a combination of all these! One organ in particular that suffers from this type of lifestyle is the liver – and, it’s the liver that carries out many of its main functions in the early hours of the morning!
When I was training I also studied a module on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). I have used the techniques in practice for many years now and it can pinpoint areas to support. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) originated in ancient China and has evolved over thousands of years a long time before Western Medicine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, our internal organs work to a 24 hour ‘clock’, with certain times of day being peak times for that organ. This is the time that the organ will carry out its most essential functions.
The schedule is as follows:
Large intestine: 5am-7am
Small Intestines: 1pm-3pm
Endocrine system/pancreas: 9pm-11pm
Gallbladder: 11pm -1am
In Chinese medicine, any repeated issues that occur at a particular time of the day suggest an imbalance in the corresponding organ. For example, I wake every morning at 3am! This does not mean you have to worry you have a liver problem it is just saying hold on I need a little bit of TLC.
So simple steps you can take
Try and get a good nights sleep – no phones, no TV or computers before or in bed. Try a herbal tincture such as Valerian or Lemon Balm and Skullcap. Try Neal’s Yard Remedies for quality tinctures.
Look after your liver
Simple, healthy food is best for the liver — not fatty, refines sugar processed food. Limit alacohol
Look after your adrenals
It is hard to limit stressful scenarios, Balance your blood sugar levels if you do feel your blood sugar dipping, remember to eat a protein-rich snack such as nuts is better than reaching for sugary things – although the sugar will perk you up initially, it will only lead to your blood sugar levels crashing again a little while later.
Some people with night-time waking might find that they need a small, healthy snack before bed to stop their blood sugar dipping at 3am. This can simple be an oat cake with nut butter.
Remember not to make any changes or take supplements before discussing with a health care professional.