Daylight Savings is around the corner and so are the longer days of spring. Most people welcome spring and love having more daylight. But for those who have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, losing one more hour of sleep when we turn the clocks forward can be a real nightmare.
Many factors that contribute to sleep disorders—diet, stress, lifestyle—can be addressed by a liver cleanse. Sleepyheads or not, we can all benefit from a liver tune up after a long winter.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Five Element Theory
, the liver correlates to spring and the element of wood. Life energy that has been dormant in trees and bushes all winter long bursts forth in spring. And so can you when you clear and tone a sluggish liver.
Liver cleanses can clear up your skin, help you slim down, provide you with more energy as well as provide you a good night’s sleep. A healthy liver shows itself as a clear, cool head, good digestion and increased energy.
The liver and gallbladder are considered the seat of decision making or planning. When our wood energy is balanced we are optimistic, friendly and can clearly see our goals. We worry less and therefore can sleep more easily.
The liver also regulates sex, thyroid and stress hormones. Clearing up liver congestion helps regulate these important hormones.
The liver is your body’s filter. Everything you eat, drink and breathe passes through the liver for filtering and elimination. If your liver is overwhelmed, it can’t filter fast enough, resulting in blocked Qi, toxic overload and sleep loss. When our flow of Qi is impeded, our creativity and problem solving abilities also suffer.
There are more reasons why livers get wearier in winter.
Winter’s shorter daylight hours reduce our Vitamin D production which is a precursor to melatonin, the sleep regulator hormone. And winter fare is loaded with fats, starches and sugar, all of which tax our livers. When we are overloaded we feel heavier, lethargic and constipated, both physically and mentally.
The prime hours for liver activity are 1-3 a.m. So, if you’ve overindulged in fatty foods, alcohol, or if you're stressed pre-bedtime, it’s in the wee hours that your liver will be poking you awake. That’s when Daylight Savings can really add up to a lot of sleep loss.
Another great benefit of a liver cleanse and getting back to sleep, besides a return to physical energy, is a return to the creative and restorative powers of dreaming.
However, it is important to introduce your body to any detoxifying regimen gradually.
Fasting or other extreme changes in diet can rob your body of essential nutrients, cause spikes in blood sugar and blood pressure, and just make you downright cranky if not handled properly.
Here are some simple steps you can take toward a safe and effective liver tune-up.
1. Can the Canned Goods
Now that there’s more daylight, you have more fresh veggies and fruit to choose from and don’t have to rely on food from a jar or can. Make use of the vital energy in fresh fruits and vegetables for stronger liver Qi.
2. Get Moving
If you’ve been sluggish in your exercise routine all winter long, now is the time to take advantage of the longer daylight and get out there and play
Perspiration and increased circulation help purge your body of toxins.
3. Prepare with Proper Nourishment
The purpose of a liver cleanse is to flush out toxins. If you do this suddenly, your liver could rebel from having to process too much, too fast.
Just like a caffeine elimination headache, if you indulge in sugary, fatty foods, caffeine, alcohol and other liver-taxing substances before your cleanse you could be sorry.
Instead, help your liver do its job and taper off the bad habits a week or two before your official cleanse. It will be less of a shock to both you and your liver.
4. Do Your Detox
Liver cleanses can be done in as little time as 48 hours, or, you can adopt lifelong liver friendly habits.
Liver cleanse recipes and diets abound. Choosing the right one for you can be daunting. But, in general, here are lists of what you should eliminate while doing a cleanse, and what helps aid liver detoxification.
Digestive Teas or Drinks
Finding the right cleansing regimen for you can be hard. But, with a little experimentation, you’ll find the perfect liver cleanse routine that will give you restful nights and let your spirit soar!
This is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare practitioner with any health concerns before beginning any detox regimen.