Sleep Through the Seasons


Sleep Cycles

We’ve talked a bit about what you can do to get ready to go from autumn to winter and about a couple of things that you can do to get your body prepared. A lot of this information comes from a highly revered book called Huang di Neijing, "The Yellow Emperor’s Classic". This book is often considered the bible of Chinese medicine and how to live a healthy long life in harmony with the cycles of Nature. One of the topics mentioned that we have yet to discuss is sleep patterns and how the body needs different amounts of sleep through different times of the year.


In the summer, it is recommended that you stay up late at night and wake up early in the morning. This is because the sky is lit up by the sun from early in the morning until late into the evening, the Yang energy has reached it's fullest expression. As we move into fall, it is recommended that we go to sleep earlier and wake up in the morning earlier. This reflects that the Yang energy of the sun is waning earlier in the evening bringing more darkness or Yin energy. However, as we move into winter, we should still go to bed early (maybe even earlier than during the fall), but we should also stay in bed later in the morning. Yin energy has now reached it's fullest expression which is represented in the longer evenings and shorter days.


I remember a teacher of mine who used to say that the last hour you spend in bed during winter time can really help strengthen your kidney energy, not only in your lower back, but your knees, brain and bones. I don't think there could be a better recommendation from the doctor than to sleep in every morning. Now, for some of you, that might seem like an impossible task, however it's always "Good, Better and Best": If you don't have an hour, start with five minutes or whatever works for your schedule. Remember this ancient wisdom is a prescription, and if done regularly, it will build your immunity during Wintertime, ultimately making you healthier, stronger and happier. 


There are so many things you can do to protect your qi as the seasons change. For more practical tips, be sure to head over to the Healing Infusions group on Facebook by following this link