Why You Might Be Sleepless At Certain Hours: A Barometer of Your Relationships?
Updated: Jun 4
Many people are familiar with the Chinese Meridian clock which denotes the two-hour time periods when the chi or prana of the body is concentrated in particular meridians, corresponding largely to the major organs. Chinese medicine and modalities like the Emotion Code often associate particular organs as producers of certain emotions. I recap some of these emotional connections here and make the further link to relationship issues which waking up at particular hours of the night may indicate. I start with the most common hours of wakefulness that clients are referencing in my healing practice but first, read my article detailing the contagion of trauma. If you co-sleep, your wakefulness during the night may relate to unresolved issues or trauma that your partner has experienced and it is useful to keep this in mind as you read ahead.
Waking Up Between 3am and 5am - The Lung Meridian, Deceit or Self-Deceit
The Emotion Code (TM) formulated by Bradley Nelson, posits that the lungs and colon are responsible for generating the following emotions:
My experience is that while unprocessed grief is generally a go-to explanation for wakefulness at this time, one must also examine whether one is being lied to or is lying to oneself about something significant. Interestingly, the emotions of defensiveness and stubbornness are also generated by the lungs and often people are defensive when they are actively trying to conceal something. Notably, this is also a particular conflict trait of people who experience toxic insecurity/vulnerability (non-euphemistically called narcissism) with childhood trauma as a causal factor and narcissism may co-occur with a tendency to lie pathologically. Generally, these are going to be big lies, not small trivial lies, which affect the foundation of your relationship with yourself, a boss, parent, or partner.
Waking Up Between 1am and 3am - The Liver Meridian, Anger Related to Boundary Violation
The question to ask yourself during wakefulness between these hours is whether you are taking advantage of anyone or whether someone, again usually an intimate partner, family member, or close friend is (or has) taking advantage of you. If you haven't been able to set a boundary and speak your truth around this, you will have unprocessed anger and may be wakeful during these hours. Likely, we aren't talking about minor lack of appreciation but rather significant respect and/or boundary violations which could amount to abuse (including emotional/narcissistic abuse). If you are intermittently waking up some nights between these hours and some nights between the following two-hour period, it is likely that there is some relationship between the source of the lie/self-deceit and a boundary violation.
Finally, one should be aware that anger, perhaps like other emotions, can be projected onto others when the person experiencing it doesn't want to acknowledge and process it and its underlying causes. This can happen often in emotionally abusive relationships but it can also happen in other relationships which might seem normal on the surface. Exploring anger that your partner might be suppressing or recognizing that someone else in your close circle may be suppressing and projecting it is another avenue of inquiry to understand wakefulness during these hours.
Waking up between 5am and 7am - The Colon Meridian, Power is Being Drained
The correlated emotions are above. The colon is part of the power center of the body and if you are wakeful during these hours you'll want to be sure that you are not draining power from another person and that no one is draining power from you. The tendency to pull power is a hallmark of narcissistic personalities and the tendency to let one's power be pulled even if unconsciously may be part of the inverted covert narcissistic personality or codependent personalities.
It goes without saying that sleep is essential to the proper functioning and thriving of the body, mind, spirit and soul. If you are wakeful during a specific time period at night, this may be a message from the body that something in your relationships is imbalanced and needs addressing.
Of course, this may just be the beginning of the inquiry but it is an important data point to ensure full awareness and healing. Usually in a healing session, I will be able to detect if your sleep is off and that you are waking up at specific times. Often, when I suggest that there may be an untruth in the field, that boundaries are being violated or that metaphysical and personal power is being drained from the body, the client can be caught off-guard because these issues are not yet in their conscious awareness.
No matter - if you are not ready to pursue the inquiry that the symptom is encouraging, just keep it in mind as you proceed on your journey. You might also try keeping a sleep journal to see if symptoms persist or are alleviated if, for example, you don't co-sleep for a night or two, or if you don't interact during the day with an individual. Although sometimes coded, the messages of the body are often less filtered and more telling than the conscious mind and so one might expect that when the conscious mind is at rest during sleep, the body has a wonderful opportunity to speak to us directly and will not forgo it!