Updated: Sep 11
Sleep issues are becoming more common nowadays and there are many factors that play a role on how well you sleep. Anytime someone comes into my office with sleeping issues I am always asking a few questions.
Sleep issue questions I always ask:
How long does it take to fall asleep?
What time are you going to sleep?
How is your quality of sleep?
Do you wake up in the middle of the night?
If you wake up in the middle of the night. What time do you usually wake up?
What is your routine right before you go to bed?
The answers to all of these questions can give me clues to what is going on in your body. If you wake up more than once throughout the night, then there might be blood sugar issues. This leads to stress hormone release, causing you to wake up. If you have a hard time falling asleep to begin with, you probably have an issue with the neurotransmitter, GABA. There are many organs that play a role in sleep so we will discuss in this post about the different organs that may affect sleep.
The Horary Clock
Did you know that there is an acupuncture clock for the 24-hour day that goes in 2 hour increments? If you are experiencing symptoms during the same time every day, your body may be telling you something. If you are waking up at or around the same time every night you may some issues with a specific organ. Let's give an example now.
Let's say you come to my office and are waking up at 2am every single night and never used to have this issue. According to the chart shown below, your liver is dominant during the hours of 1-3am. So if you are waking up at 2am every night, then you may have some things going on with your liver. Our liver is our body's filtration system, so it is very important we keep it in check.
Our Liver: The Detoxer
The liver is our body's filtration system. Everything that gets put into our body is filtered through our liver. This can be food/drinks we consume, pro
ducts we put on our skin, things we breathe in, etc. The livers goal is to filter everything and then detox out the substances that our body does not need. The liver has two phases of detoxification. A series of enzymes called the Cytochrome P450 enzymes accomplis
h phase 1. These enzymes act to prepare the contents entering the liver for sorting by a variety of other filtration pathways that are the Phase 2 liver detoxification pathway.
For these additional filtration pathways, there are things such as methylation, glucuronidation, and conjugation by glutathione that are occurring. These three processes are a part of 6 total conjugation processes that prepare substances to be used by the body or to be excreted. While I know these processes are completely foreign for you, it is important to realize how much our liver actually does for our health.
These three processes are a part of 6 total conjugation processes that prepare substances to be used by the body or to be excreted. Some pathways help more with filtering stress hormones, some specialize to remove heavy metals, others filter medications, etc. Chronic infections or stress can put a burden on the liver which then inhibits its ability to filter out these toxins. The main goal is to keep the drain unclogged with specific nutrients for the liver so that it can continue to detox substances.
Emotions Taking Over
One other thing to take note of and try to apply to our every day life is that our organs all have an emotional tie as well. How we feel every day and the emotions we experience can play a role in our overall health. Let's take our liver example and apply it this way. The liver is related to Anger. If we are experiencing rage, fury, or aggravation constantly, your liver energy may be in excess. Getting to the root cause of these emotions can lessen the burden on your liver. It is important to note that figuring out where the anger is coming from needs to be in addition to giving our liver essential nutrients to perform its functions.
Your Sleep Can Say A lot About Your Health
There are plenty of other potential toxins to the liver or things that might clog the “sink”, but liver detoxification issues can be treated. So keep track of how you are sleeping if you notice any of the trends that I have explained above, then suspect that your body may be telling you something! I suggest seeking out a Functional Medicine Practitioner to help you figure out which organs may need support. It is important for us to get the best quality sleep that we can get because our body does the most healing while we sleep. So stop suffering from insomnia and let's figure out what is causing your sleep issues!