Throughout my childhood, my parents always enforced a strict bedtime and reminded me that good sleep was necessary for my body to rest, recharge, and get to work the next day. Since becoming a mother, I have been passing on the same message to my children with a touch of methods from Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Chinese Medicine and Sleep
“Replenishing health with medicine is not as good as replenishing health with diet, but that replenishing health with sleep is the best treatment of all”
This ancient Chinese proverb has stayed with me through the years and reminds me of the true importance of sleep and the effect it has on our health. Within Traditional Chinese Medicine, there is a different kind of biological clock that replaces the traditional circadian rhythm.
The circadian rhythm is our body’s natural clock that is supposed to make us feel more awake and energized when the sun is out and more tired as the sun sets. In comparison, Traditional Chinese Medicine divides the day into two-hour segments during which certain organ systems are at their strongest. During this period, the organ system affects everything from your mood to productivity levels.
I won’t detail all of the segments in this post, rather the most important segments that directly have to do with the digestive system as well as sleep quality.
The digestive system, featuring your stomach and spleen, shines in the morning between 7 and 9 am. Eating a balanced and healthy breakfast provides your body with enough energy to keep powering through the day’s activities. PURPO, the world’s first on-the-go diet friendly breakfast option is jam-packed with nutrients and minerals to provide your body with a morning energy boost. However, our purple cereal isn’t overwhelming to your digestive system, so it will not cause an intense sugar rush and then crash a few hours later.
From 9 to 11 am, your body is using the initial energy burst provided by your breakfast to kick start all of your bodily processes for the day. During this time, your pancreas and spleen are working at their full capacity by further digesting the foods and converting more spendable energy.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, you should begin to wind down between 5 and 7 pm, As it gets closer to bedtime (11pm-1am) increase your water intake slightly to ensure you will stay hydrate overnight as your body starts its cleansing and restoration processes.
How does Poor Sleep Affect Your Health?
Your sleep quality is a great overall indicator of your health. If you have any issues falling or staying asleep, you may be suffering from other issues like anxiety or intense amounts of stress. In other cases, insufficient sleep could lead to the following health complications:
- Poor concentration levels and job performance
- Weak immune system
- Type 2 Diabetes by the increased release of insulin
- Cardiovascular disease
Luckily, there are many different things you can do from home, without the intervention of a doctor to improve your sleep quality.
Getting better sleep at home
- During the day: exercise, do yoga and meditate
- Avoid stimulants like coffee & alcohol as well as late dinners
- Practice a consistent sleep schedule every day, even on the weekends
- Improve your diet by going plant-based or at least increasing vegetable and fruit consumption
- Go to sleep as soon as you are tired - turn off Netflix and all other electronics!
- Sleep in a dark, comfortable, and quiet room
- Quality blankets, pillows, and mattress
Obviously, everyone is different so you will have to test out different strategies to see what is best for you. The strategies above are a great place to start.
Gifting Better Sleep this Father’s Day
Although the most important man in our lives always seems strong in our eyes, he could probably benefit from better sleep. This Father’s Day, a (purple) sleep-related gift is the perfect usable yet thoughtful idea.
Going the extra step and buying a purple gift could calm his nerves even further. Color psychology has long linked purple with calming and relaxing effects. So why not consider gifting him The Purple Pillow to improving your dad’s sleep quality. If he is in the market for a new bed, The Purple Bed could be the perfect gift to remind him about how much you care for him on a daily basis.
If your dad is at all similar to mine, he’s under a lot of stress. Taking him to a local painting class like Purple Easel, helps him calm his nerves while benefiting from some great quality time with you.
Dad is always on the move? A purple Young Living Travel Essential Oil Diffuser USB paired with lavender essential oil could be a portable relaxation tool. He can bring it with him in the car, to the office, or anywhere else he chooses.
My favorite gifts, especially for Mother’s and Father’s day are always the less common ones. They give our parents the impression that we really took time to think about their gift and didn’t just go with the standard flowers or dinner.
I’m always on the look-out for new gift ideas, so if any of you happen to have any, don’t hesitate to reach out! I always love interacting with my readers and hearing your side of things.