Something most people don’t know is that we have a “body clock” that regulates the energy going into each of our organs, at different times of the day. This clock can also be called our circadian rhythm, which is roughly a 24 hour cycle in the physiological process of living beings. Circadian rhythms are important in determining the sleeping and feeding patterns of all animals, including human beings.
Science Daily says that there are clear patterns of brain wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration and other biological activities linked to different times during this daily cycle. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), our thyroid and adrenal glands are being regulated between the hours of 9-11 PM and need rest during this time. This makes sense, given that the sun has gone down, so this would be the time that we need to rest and restore.
All too often, though, we find that we use this time to socialize, watch shows that trigger an adrenalin rush, engage in other forms of “Screen Time” like gaming, and eating snacks. This is the exact opposite to what our bodies need and can leave us with increased energy levels vs. “winding down.” Winding down at night is a process. Taking the time to dim the lights, take a warm bath, read a relaxing story allows the brain and body to prepare for sleep.
I recommend to my patients that they develop good wind-down practices. I also recommend that they consider herbal remedies to help them fall asleep. Traditional dietary supplements use calming herbs that help you to relax and feel a bit drowsy. These ingredients don’t force you to sleep, but rather lure you to the luxury of sleepiness. Going to bed relaxed has other benefits, such as less muscle tension in the morning, and deeper more restorative sleep. My favorite herbs to use are Mimosa Tree Bark, Biota Seed and Jujube Seed, all plant-based ingredients that benefit the digestive system as well as having calming effects, without leftover drowsiness in the morning. You can find these herbs in our IN:Dream Herbal Sleep Formula, mixed with a delicious natural pomegranate flavor.