Proper Sleep Hygiene
Bedtime: East Asian Medicine has a theory that all of the organs participate in a 24 hour cycle, with each of the 12 organs taking a 2 hour chunk of the day. 11:00 pm to 1:00 am is the time of the Gallbladder. Gallbladder time leads into Liver time, from 1:00-3:00 am. This four hour chunk is the most important time for sleep to occur. 10:00 pm is the optimal bedtime, as it ensures you will be deep in sleep by Gallbladder time. It’s important to sleep through Gallbladder and Liver time so that the Hun, part of the soul associated with these 2 organs, can properly rest and refresh itself. If you habitually awaken in the middle of the night at a predictable time, it could be that there is an imbalance in the organ associated with that time. Similarly, you might experience a sudden energy drop at a predictable time of day, which may be associated with the organ of that time.
Screens: No screens at bedtime is optimal. For those with insomnia, avoiding screens for the 1-2 hours of the evening is recommended. Read a book, listen to music, or take a bath instead of watching TV. Soaking just your feet in warm water immediately prior to getting into bed is an Ayurvedic recommendation for deeper sleep.
Alcohol and caffeine usage: Some people are less affected than others. Generally speaking, no caffeine after 3:00-4:00 pm is a good rule. Remember that decaf coffee and tea have caffeine. Herbal teas do not. Alcohol use in general affects sleep, especially close to bedtime, and should be avoided by those with insomnia.
Food for good sleep: Try eating a hardboiled egg at bedtime, shortly before brushing your teeth. Protein in general and eggs in particular can help you sleep more soundly when eaten close to bedtime. If the need to urinate wakes you at times, avoid heavy fluid intake in the evening and do your best to drink to thirst earlier in the day.