For me, staying up late is normal. However, staying up late often is bad for your body. When I saw this article, I forwarded it to this website in the hope that it would help those who, like me, enjoy staying up late.
The secrets of a good night’s sleep
According to medical studies and my own experience, you only truly sleep a maximum of three hours at night; the rest of time is a pure waste, lying on the pillow and dreaming. Everyone dreams, but many of us wake up and feel like we have not dreamed at all; that is because you have forgotten what you experienced.
At noontime, if you can close your eyes and sleep for three minutes, it will be equivalent to sleeping two hours. Between the hours of 11 P.M. and 1 A.M., if you can sleep for five minutes, it will be equivalent to sleeping six hours.
The important point is timing, which involves the principles of the universe, the earth, and yin and yang. You may feel a force coming down from below the heart to meet a force coming up from your dantian. When two forces meet, you will experience much energy.
Therefore, sleeping between the hours of 11 P.M. and 1 A.M. is good for people suffering from insomnia, and for those who prefer to stay up late. Sleeping 30 minutes during this period will be enough rest for the next day. However, be careful not to fall asleep between the hours of 5 A.M. and 7 A.M.
Sleep and health
1. Rules for sleep
During the “Warring States Period,” renowned Chinese physician Wen Zhi said: “Sleep is the most important thing for health. The bodies of humans and animals can only grow if they sleep.”
Sleep also aids in the digestion of food. If people skip just one night of sleep, they will not be able to recover from the damage to their bodies for 100 days.
Sleeping is very important in maintaining health. Just imagine if your body loses 1 million cells in a day and you can only replace them with 500,000 new cells. That means your body has a deficit of 500,000 cells.
Many people have difficulty falling asleep, and thus have poor quality sleep. Poor quality sleep will cause liver imbalance and result in excessive anger and fatigue. It also causes a stomach imbalance that can disturb sleep.
2. Sleep and disease
Modern living habits and lifestyles have a negative impact on the body. Bad habits, such as eating too much and eating the wrong types of food, watching too much TV, spending too much time on a computer, and staying up late, all increase the likelihood of ailments.
The liver has a unique characteristic; when lying down, the blood flows back to the organ, and when sitting and standing, the blood flows out of the organ.
Your body cycle begins at 11 P.M., not midnight. The liver and gall bladder are closely related. At 11 P.M., the meridians of the gall bladder open up, but if you are not resting, the energy from this vital organ will be lost. Eleven internal organs depend upon the energy from the gall bladder, and by staying up late, you reduce its benefit, which will have a negative impact upon your body’s immune system and metabolism.
The energy from the gall bladder also supports the central nervous system, and when its energy is interrupted, people are susceptible to various mental illnesses, such as depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and restless psychosis.
If you are up from 1 A.M. to 3 A.M., your liver is strong, but it cannot eliminate toxins in your body or produce fresh blood, so your complexion will take on a bluish hue. Hepatitis B virus carriers often do not sleep well at night, so they may become weak, causing their bodies to not work efficiently, and allowing the virus to impede their metabolism.
Staying up late also interferes with the functions of the liver. The liver is a dispersing system, and we damage its function by staying up late, causing liver qi stagnation, irritability, headaches, dizziness, red eyes, eye pain, tinnitus, hearing loss, chest rib pain, constipation, and irregular menstruation cycles for women.
The liver opens into the eyes, and staying up late also causes liver blood deficiency and vision problems, such as blurred eyesight, night blindness, photophobia, glaucoma, cataracts, retinal arteriosclerosis, retinopathy, and other eye-related ailments.
The liver affects tendons, and staying up late may cause tendon pain, numbness, flexion and extension difficulties, spastic convulsions, and other symptoms related to calcium deficiency and osteoporosis.
The liver also affects the heart. The liver stores and regulates the blood, so liver blood deficiency may cause heart blood deficiency, hypertension, and other cardiovascular and cerebra-vascular diseases.
3. How to sleep well
Every night around 10 P.M., lay down and empty your mind and relax your body, and by 11 P.M. you’ll be asleep. The blood will start to return to your liver and gall bladder, and after the toxins are filtered out, new blood will circulate. If you do it every day, you can eliminate the possibilities of having gall bladder stones, hepatitis, cysts, and tumors, even if you live to be 100 years old!
If you stay up later than 1 A.M., the blood cannot return to the liver and toxins remain in your body. Your bile cannot be filtered properly, and you become prone to gall bladder stones, cysts, and other ailments.
If your digestive system is out of balance, you won’t sleep well. If your stomach is lacking yang energy, you cannot sleep well. If your stomach has too much heat, you may experience acid reflex and you won’t sleep well. Another condition is if your stomach is warm and dry, which causes your tongue and mouth to become dry.
Too much seafood or braised chicken can lead to a concentration of animal fats in your stomach, which can disturb your sleep.
For a good night’s sleep, make sure your limbs, navel, and mingmen point are all well. Cool limbs can remove vital yang energy from your kidneys.
Helpful ways to fall asleep
Before going to bed, try some simple stretching exercises and then sit cross-legged on the bed with your hands overlapped on your legs. Breathe naturally as your pores open and close with your steady breathing. Better yet, yawn and let your tears flow, as that is the best condition. Then when you are ready, you will fall asleep.
Lay supine on the bed, breathe naturally, and imagine that your breath is like a gentle breeze as it caresses your toes, heels, calves, and thighs. If you are still awake, repeat this exercise until you fall asleep.
If you want to fall asleep fast, lie on your right side and put your right palm under your right ear. The right palm is fire and the right ear is water, and when both meet, it is good for your heart and kidneys.
Pay attention to the little things
Go to bed early; 8 hours of sleep is good for the elderly, but don’t sleep more than 10 hours.
Once you put your head on the pillow, do not think about other matters or make plans for the next day. Listen to your own breathing quietly as it goes from heavy to light.
If you cannot stop thinking, get up for a while and avoid tossing and turning in bed, which consumes vital energy.
If it is between 11 P.M. and 1 A.M., close your eyes and be quiet for 15 minutes. For that is the time when your heart energy is strongest.
It is good to get up early in summer and later in the winter. Do not harbor anger between 3 A.M. and 5 A.M., as it can damage your lungs and liver.
Translation edited by David Clapp.