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The Time You Wake Up At Night Reveals Your Emotional Conditions (And Health Issues Too)

The Time You Wake Up At Night Reveals Your Emotional Conditions (And Health Issues Too)

If waking up in the middle of the night has become the norm, it’s advisable not to ignore it as it may spell trouble for your body and mind. The Chinese Organ Body Clock developed by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctors states that chi moves around our body at different times of the day and if there is a certain blockage in any organs, it could force you to wake up.

By knowing the reasons why you are waking up in the middle of the night, you can then find the solutions to better sleep which can range from relaxing the mind, proper food intake to exercising regularly or even releasing your anger. Check out below for the possible reasons as to why you are waking up at a particular time.

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Problems Sleeping Between 11 PM – 1 AM: Self-Esteem Issues

If one has a problem sleeping between this timing, it could mean you’re being too judgmental on yourself or others. According to the Chinese Medicine Body Block, being disappointed by a loved one can also trigger this stage of wakefulness, making you unable to sleep or forcing you to wake up during this time. Being mindful at times and not being too judgmental can help the situation and reading self-help books can also help in your confidence level.

Physically, having trouble sleeping during this time could mean that your gall bladder is trying to tell you to eat lesser fatty foods, smoke less and reduce caffeine. This is to ensure that your gall bladder is working at its optimum level and that it’s energy stores are not depleted by these harmful substances.

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Waking Up Between 1 AM – 3 AM: Guilt & Rage

According to the Chinese Organ Body Clock, guilt and rage are associated with this timing. The anger lingering from the heated argument you recently had with your partner or at work could be waking you up in the dead of night and having excess of these feelings can also be contributing to it. Releasing anger and changing your perspective to seek clarity could be the solution.

Waking up between 1 AM and 3 AM could mean that your liver is struggling. Knowing how important our liver is, problems with waking up during this time should be addressed as soon as possible. It could mean that your liver is being overworked with all the toxins to deal with and a solution could be readjusting your diet to healthier eating and reducing alcohol.

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Waking Up Between 3 AM – 5 AM: Grief & Sadness

Grief and sadness is linked to this timing. Waking up during this timing is suggestive of negative things that has happened in your life such as the death of a loved one or a breakup. Talking to family members or confiding in close friends can do a lot of good to your emotional well-being and although it can be difficult, finding ways to move on is important.

Physically, this is when our lungs collect the most oxygen to move it to other parts of the body to prepare it for a new day. Removal of toxins also happens in the process. If you find yourself coughing and waking up at this time, the solution could be to consume better foods and breathing in cleaner air.

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Waking Up Between 5 AM – 7 AM: Feeling Stuck in Life

Feeling stuck about the lack of growth in one’s life is also a critical emotional problem if you wake up during this time. A good way to solve this is to have a morning ritual that makes you happy and driven such as planning the day ahead, listening to uplifting music or simple meditating to clear the mind for the day ahead.

There might also be problems with your large intestine if you’re waking up during this time. Having bowel movements during this time is normal and to help with the process, it is always important to drink lots of water.

Troubleshooting Made Easy

If you are unsure at what times you are waking up during the night, have a notebook placed beside you and if there is ever a time you wake up and can’t get back to sleep, record that time in that notebook. By tracking our pattern of sleep, we are able to troubleshoot it and find the best solutions for better sleep in the future.

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Lim Kairen

Content Writer

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Last Updated on November 9, 2020

10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

2. No Motivation

Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

5. Upward Comparisons

Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

6. No Alternative

This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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7. Stress

As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

8. Sense of Failure

People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

9. The Need to Be All-New

People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

10. Force of Habit

Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

Final Thoughts

These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

More on Breaking Bad Habits

Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
[2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
[3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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