I know, there are things that you’ve learned from your mother: say thank you when you get something offered, take your cap off if you sit down at a table to eat, and go to bed on time. You know it and that’s why you do it in most cases. Or not.

Let me tell you why you should at least stick to the ‘go to bed early’ part:

The 24-hour organ clock

The 24-hour organ clock

According to traditional Chinese medicine, certain organs and body functions receive the unique opportunity for their 15 minutes of fame once a day. (Well, actually, they get about 2 hours, but I couldn’t resist the little drama.) This is known as the so-called organ clock.

As a consequence, some of our major organs and systems miss their unique opportunity to obtain a full load of nutrients, spare parts and energy if we don’t go to bed on time. And if you  miss their window of opportunity, it’s gone. Bye-bye. At least for today. And since people prefer to maintain their daily routine, there’s a good chance that the following night turns into a missed opportunity as well.

So when is late too late, or in other words, what time should you go to bed?

Your body initiates the shutdown for tonight’s rest at about 7pm. Between 9pm and 11pm, the body expects a change in position from upright to lying. By the way, if you have a stressful daily life, it is crucial for you to relax and go to bed now. From 11pm to 5am, time has also come for everybody else to be asleep. This is when our detox systems and breathing apparatus get the chance for maintenance and repair.

The nocturnal organ clock in detail

  • 7pm-9pm: Circulation
  • 9pm-11pm: Endocrine system
  • 11pm-1am: Gallbladder
  • 1am-3am: Liver
  • 3am-5am: Lung

Our inner clock is determined by the course of the sun and the moon, and unfortunately not by TV shows, work or family related tasks, weekdays or daylight saving time. Therefore, following the natural rhythm is usually not an easy task.

What can you do?

Help your body with taking small steps. If you are used to go to bed at 1am, aim for 0.30am and slowly pushing it forward. Find out for yourself how much energy and clarity you’ll get by simply going to bed at the right time.

Thanks for reading.

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