Question: My husband has chronic insomnia, related to job stress (really hates job). Aside from medical remedies, are there any cures that could help? (I already checked for arrow chi) Our bedroom is on the second floor in the career/life path section. We would like to make a change and start our own business. We are open to redecorating our bedroom. Thanks for any suggestions!
Answer: This question requires two answers. First, you need some immediate attention on keeping your husband healthy, and secondly, you need some advice to get that new career going, right?
Sometimes it is literally the difference between life and death to live your passion and get a plan together to ditch the job stress. I believe hating a job is about the most overused, self-imposed immune system killer out there. I would enhance the family and foundation gua with wood element to get this whole process started, then work on the fame and reputation gua with fire element (not in the bedroom though!) to gather the courage to make a change as well as be seen in the best light. All the career cures, like getting the front door as awesomely attractive as possible and adding flowing water (in symbol or for real) is on the list here as well, and it wouldn’t hurt to get the helpful people box up and running with affirmative writings about how you see your dream new business day going if it were to go perfectly. You can also use this helpful people cure to get help with any parts of business-building, whether it is someone to write a business plan, or someone to rent you an office. (I could be specific if I knew more.)
Of course, the career area of each room might need a little looking after too. Add moving water or a symbol of it (no running water in bedrooms) in rooms where it makes sense as well as surrounding yourself with the things a successful person in your chosen new business might have surrounding them. If you don’t know what those things are, then I might suggest checking out someone’s office or home that is successful in the line of business that you are choosing and mimic them if you don’t have any good ideas of your own….hey, fake it till you make it, right?
But if you have to stay in this situation for a while until things get up and rolling, here are my suggestions:
First of all, of course, is to eliminate yang or expansive foods in the afternoon/evening hours of the day. Yang or expansive foods include drugs, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, coffee, and even fruits. If these are to be consumed – the afternoon and evening time when things are turning towards the yin, more contracted versus expansive – is not the time. If he must have one, and is used to a sugar snack in the evening, you may simply switch to a salty snack and see results as salt is the most yin food there is (remember – moderation/balance is the key!) Cut off all foods at 3 hours prior to bedtime.
Eating more neutral foods such as grains, veggies, beans, and fish might pull him back to a more balanced system, but I’ll leave the particulars to his Traditional Chinese Medicine professional (wouldn’t hurt to see one!) They will be able to discern EXACTLY what to eat and not eat based upon the times he wakes up in the night (each couple of hours is associated with a different organ energy in the body which relates to one of the five elements – way too long of a discussion for this answer.) Here’s a digestion-aiding exercise that also works well for insomnia.
Give these a try:
1. Sit comfortably with your back straight and not leaning on a chair back.
2. Take three deep breaths and relax.
3. Place your hand below your navel and lightly draw it around your navel in a circular motion. Repeat at least 36 times.
4. Use your right hand in a clockwise direction during a waxing moon and your left hand in a counter clockwise direction during a waning moon.
5. Remain still and relaxed for 5 minutes.
If you want to pump up the volume on this ritual, then visualize the sun and moon above you in the morning sky sending a “pure mist” downward that enters your body through your nostrils and weaves together in a tai chi symbol at your navel. Picture the sun on the right entering the left nostril and the moon on the left entering the right nostril.
The Sleep Balancer
Sleep is obviously vital for a healthy body. It is also very closely connected to relationships and relationship-building, if you’ve never connected the dots on that before.
When I was in college, I ran so consistently sleep-deprived that I started to think of sleeping every night as a waste of time—even though I literally fell asleep walking and started hallucinating once! I was in the habit of only sleeping every third night for almost a whole semester, one time even going totally sleepless for five days (the hallucinating time mentioned above). That’s messed up! So, I’ve been there, and I know how mentally unsettling and unbalancing it can be.
Here are some signs sleep-deprived people usually show but don’t connect to lack of sleep. Can you relate to any of these?
- You have trouble with spatial relationship tasks, like de-cluttering and organizing, for example.
- You think or have been told by others that you have a drinking problem.
- You have been told that you snore or hold your breath while you sleep, or you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.
- You fall asleep while sitting up rather quickly after sitting down or even driving.
- Your mind does not want to “turn off” at night, and you find yourself having trouble falling or staying asleep.
- You consistently feel anxious or like you can’t handle stress—quite often not even knowing exactly what you are anxious over.
- You have poor memory, concentration, and decision-making—even risky behavior—and possibly other mental health issues.
- You have depression, burnout, decreased empathy, mood swings, vision and motor skills issues, high blood pressure, weakened immune function, and the various associated medical issues that arise from immune deficiency.
- Your appetite is increased. (There is clear evidence of a link between obesity and lack of sleep.)
- You have multiple accidents or consider yourself clumsy.
- You’ve been assigned the couch or other sleeping space by your partner, or your partner has bugged out due to your sleep deprivation issues.
Now that I probably have your attention, here are a few suggestions:
Investigate environmental and other changes that have occurred since the time you did sleep well. What are the differences in yourself, your habits, or your environment that have occurred between the time when you last slept well and now? Did you exercise more then? Did you consume less caffeine then? Did you (or a neighbor) add a wireless transmitter in your home? (If your neighbor’s Wi-Fi signal is noticed on your computer, you are in their wireless field.) Did you start charging your cell phone at night next to your bed? Did you paint the room a different color? Did you change your bedding to more synthetic materials? Did you have a baby? Do you have a pesticide service coming now that you didn’t have then? Did you start or stop taking a drug or herbs? Have you stopped a relaxing hobby or your meditation practice? Did you get divorced, and are you now sleeping alone? Did your spouse start snoring? Pinpointing the nuances that contribute to good sleep and bad sleep can potentially mean simple changes if you think this way. (All of the above and then some can be contributing factors.) Once again, work the trial and error method—make one of the following changes and see if it improves your sleep. If not, then move on to the next one.
- Track your sleep and see if your waking hours run consistent with the moon cycles. If so, you will probably notice less sound sleep when the moon is fuller.
- Avoid caffeine and other “yang” substances like recreational drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and excessive sugar or carbs. Sleeping is connected to more yin attributes. Even simply exchanging your bedtime sweet snack (yang) to a salty one (yin) could help—get it?
- Experiment by turning off all the electricity in the home before retiring to bed. You may just be reacting to your electrically “hopped-up” house. (Don’t worry, the food stays cold enough in the fridge overnight.) If your ability to sleep improves, each night turn on another breaker, and see if that particular breaker’s worth of electrical circuitry seems to negatively affect your sleep.
Keep turning on more and more breakers, or swap them around off and on systematically until you figure out which ones can be on, and in what combination, without affecting your sleep. This is a trial and error-type method for sure, but one that you can do for free and on your own. (Unfortunately, if you rent, you probably have adjacent tenant spaces that you have no control over.) I would also suggest removing the television from the room if it is still in there.
If you have control over your space, and you indeed saw considerable improvement by cutting off electricity at certain breakers (usually in your bedroom), consider hiring an electrician to install a “demand switch” for the bedroom. A demand switch gives you the ability to turn off and on the electricity to the whole room right in the room as opposed to having to go to the breaker box/circuit panel, so you have easy access to and control over the electrical fields and electromagnetic fields surrounding you at night.
- If you can’t “turn your brain off” at night, try this home-remedy: soak your feet in warm water before retiring to bed. This pulls your energy downward and out of your head.
- A traditional feng shui cure for temporary insomnia is to place a stone on the floor near the head of the bed to add the energy of stillness (“to sleep like a rock”) for a number of nights (9, 18, or 27).
- If you always find yourself rehashing the past instead of being in the present moment, remove any mirrors that are on walls that are consistently behind you where you spend a lot of time, such as the headboard wall in your bedroom or behind your desk. It may be the case that the offending mirror is simply on the back wall of the house.
- Block out noises by hanging a wind chime between your bed and the offending noise. The chime can be hung all the way out along your property line if the noise is located off of your property.
- If none of these changes works, you might consider seeing a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, a doctor, or a feng shui consultant (or all three!) to see if there is anything else they can see that you are missing.
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