The world has gradually developed in a way that makes it difficult to stay in touch with our own organic operating systems. But whether we are listening or not it’s still trying to talk to us. And repeatedly waking up at 2 am in the night, not being able to fall asleep again, is our body trying to tell us something.
People struggle with sleeplessness at different times of the night depending on what is ailing them. My problem is the 2 am to 4 am time gap. But you would be amazed at how many nights I woke up to look at 1:59 and 1:58 before I thought, hold on, maybe I should research it. I have a million and one excuses but the bottom line is that life was just too busy. However, this thought pattern created a vicious circle. I became too tired to repair myself, in turn causing extra weariness. And further impairing my ability to cope. More like a downward spiral than a circle.
So this morning, I decided to write about it. After waking up feeling dreadful because, instead of getting my deep sleep, I was reading Mein Kampf between the hours of 2 am and 4 am. (I love educating myself on history. But in hindsight, I’m not sure if inflicting Hitlers’ innermost thoughts on my 2 am brain was a good thing!) I had just started beating myself up because I have done the research. And I already know that my particular hours of sleeplessness are due to an unhappy liver. Yet I still had that glass of wine last night.
Why the Same Time Every Night
After reading countless articles I came to the conclusion that the toxin levels in my body were too high. So my liver was overworking during the night.
According to Chinese medicine, our different organs perform certain important functions at different times over a 24 hour period. And if we struggle to function in a certain hour it will most likely be linked to the organ that is operating at that time.
From roughly 2 am to 4 am our liver is refreshed. So if you find yourself wide awake at this time your liver has too much to do. So yes, this means missing out on the nightcap that goes down so well and helps relax the body. Alcohol induces sleepiness that is more associated with the slow-wave brain activity related to deep sleep. But once the body has broken down the alcohol it pulls you out of the deep sleep cycle. Leaving you tossing and turning in the early hours.
Toxins that Wake Us Up at 2 am
It’s not just about the alcohol. Our liver filters and processes any chemicals from our food, drugs, cosmetics, household cleaners, and general environment. Think about chemicals in the water you drink (if it smells like a swimming pool, don’t drink it!). Or even the air that we breathe.
Every little bit helps, so if you are stuck in an environment where the air is polluted then don’t add to your liver’s woes by willingly consuming additional toxins. The body is an amazing thing and will cope with what it has to unless we take it for granted and continue to bombard it with toxins. From cleaning chemicals or unhealthy foods to excessive over-the-counter medication. It’s sometimes hard to keep track because we absorb these toxins in many different ways. But the bottom line is that regardless of how it gets in, the liver has to deal with it.
As well as affecting sleeping patterns the state of our liver will show in the condition of our eyes, hair and nails. So if you are waking up at 2 am and feel like every day is a bad hair day, then have a look at minimizing your toxin intake.
To start with, don’t take medication before you have tried changing your diet. Now I am relying on every individual’s ability to read their bodies to some extent. Because I’m not saying don’t take medication at all, just don’t make it your go-to. When I spoke about my sleeping problems the first thing others did was suggest some form of consumable sleep assistant.
But for me, the problem was at the same time every night. So my logic said to research before listening to those around me (took me a long time to learn to do that!). Luckily I did and realized that adding more to my system to help me sleep could just cause my liver more turmoil. It was about removing things from my lifestyle, not adding things.
And I don’t think that total abstinence is the answer either. It’s more a case of being mindful of what your body is exposed to and listen to it as you go. We live in a pretty toxic world at the moment so we all still have to contend with certain unchangeable aspects, like the air we breathe. Although any assistance will go a long way to help your body deal with whatever toxins it is forced to process. Minimize your toxin intake where you can, practice deep breathing and exercise regularly.
In my case, high toxin levels are something that I have been working on. Through trial and error, I can safely say that the waking up at 2 am connection with the liver is true for me. When I am mindful of my toxin intake I sleep well. But because of a long-term toxin build up my liver is easily overwhelmed again by any extra something that I might indulge in. For example, last night’s glass of wine.