Sleep secret revealed: Why we always wake up at the same time at night

Frau wacht auf und kann nicht schlafen

Have you ever wondered why you always wake up at the same time every night without setting an alarm clock? It turns out that our body has an amazing internal clock that is controlled by natural biological rhythms. In this blog report, we will reveal the secret behind this phenomenon.

The body's internal clock
Our body is a master of timekeeping, and this is due to our internal clock, also called the circadian rhythm. This clock regulates a variety of biological processes, including the sleep-wake cycle. It ensures that we wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night, all without external influences.

The role of the circadian rhythm
The circadian rhythm is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the brain and synchronizes our biological processes with daylight. When it gets dark outside, our body releases more melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. This explains why we wake up at the same time at night when our circadian rhythm sends the signal to wake up.

The organ clock of traditional Chinese medicine
In addition to the circadian rhythm, there is also the theory of the organ clock from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This theory states that certain organs are more active at certain times of the day and can wake us up or cause discomfort. For example, the lungs are most active between 3:00 am and 5:00 am, while the liver peaks between 1:00 am and 3:00 am.

The TCM/organ clock divides the day and night into 12 two-hour periods, with each period assigned to a specific organ:

Die Chinesische Organ-Uhr
3:00 - 5:00 am: Lung
5:00 - 7:00 am: Large Intestine
7:00 - 9:00 am: Stomach
9:00 - 11:00 am: Spleen/Pancreas
11:00 - 1:00 pm: Heart
1:00 - 3:00 pm: Small Intestine
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Bladder
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Kidney
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Pericardium
9:00 pm - 11:00 pm: Triple Warmer (San Jiao)
11:00 pm - 1:00 am: Gallbladder
1:00 am - 3:00 am: Liver

The idea behind this organ clock is that during each of these time periods, the energy in the assigned organ is strongest, and if that organ has imbalances or problems, these could lead to sleep disturbances or other ailments.

What to do if you wake up at night?
If you wake up at the same time every night and have trouble falling back asleep, there are some tips that can help. Try to make your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible to minimize external disturbances. Also, develop a regular sleep routine to support your circadian rhythm. If the problem persists, it might be helpful to consult an expert in sleep medicine.

Overall, waking up at the same time every night is a fascinating phenomenon that is influenced by our internal clock, environmental factors and possibly the TCM clock. Understanding these mechanisms can help improve our sleep and make us feel better rested and energized in the morning.

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1 comment

Enlightening article! The blend of modern science and Traditional Chinese Medicine provides a comprehensive insight into our sleep patterns. It’s fascinating how our internal clock, and the TCM Organ Clock can influence our wakefulness during specific times of the night.


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