The Chinese Body Clock Is The Best Kept Secret Of The Wellness World

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night for seemingly no reason? What about waking up at the same random time in the night for years? While this random wake-up time might annoy you, stress you out, or just be a part of your routine, it could actually be telling you something important. 

The Chinese Body Clock

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Our bodies are much smarter and more self-sufficient than we often give them credit for. If you’re used to waking up at a random time of night or know that a certain time of the day is when your body starts to lose energy, that’s not random. The Chinese body clock is a tool to help people figure out the meaning behind the imbalances in their bodies. The Chinese body clock is based on the ancient Chinese wisdom of the five elements — wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. 

In Chinese medicine, energy, or ‘qi,’ moves through the body in a 24-hour cycle. The qi moves from organ to organ, making a particular one the strongest in the body every two hours. 

The Chinese body clock is separated into twelve sections that focus on certain organs.

How the Chinese Body Clock Works

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The easiest way to explain the Chinese body clock is to break down every section and explain why it’s important. The first twelve hours of the Chinese body clock call for actions that will help people be productive and active throughout the day. These actions include “respiration, elimination, taking in, digesting and assimilating nutrients, building blood, strong mental emotions, and more.”

9 pm – 11 pm: Triple Burner

While this is not an exact organ, it’s related to the endocrine and lymphatic systems. If you’re feeling signs of imbalance during this time that consist of headaches, mania, guilt, depression, swollen lymph nodes, or other issues, you might want to go to bed earlier in the evening and avoid any artificial light after 9 pm.

11 pm – 1 am: Gallbladder

Experts say, “Your liver and gallbladder will start to regulate qi, process emotions, balance hormones, and detoxify the body.” This is the most crucial time your body needs to sleep throughout the night.

1 am – 3 am: Liver

This is when your body begins to detox and process your emotions. If you wake up between these times at night, you might be overloaded with emotions. Being asleep during this time will help you maintain your health, especially as you age.

3 am – 5 am: Lungs

This is the time when you’ll experience deep sleep, dreams, and memories. You might also experience sadness and grief that hasn’t been dealt with yet. If you’re often woken up at this time, try practicing yoga, meditation, or counseling.

5 am – 7 am: Large intestine

These are the hours you ought to be waking up every morning. This is a great time to wake up, use the restroom, and meditate. This is when you should wash and cleanse your body and hair.

7am – 9 am: Stomach 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this is the time to eat it. It’s at this time of the day when your digestion and absorption are at their peak performance.

9 am – 11 am: Spleen

This is the time when you experience clear thinking as the food converts that food to qi. Focus on the foods you’re putting into your body at this time. As you’re experiencing clear thinking, try to get the majority of your tasks done for the day during this time.

11 am – 1 pm: Heart

The heart represents peacefulness, so try to eliminate stress throughout this time. This is when you’ll have the highest energy throughout the day, so channel your stress into a workout or something productive.

1 pm – 3 pm: Small intestine

This is when your body starts to sort and absorb food. It’s also the time when your body starts to crash a bit, so maybe work a little nap into your schedule around these hours.

3 pm – 5 pm: Bladder

It’s during this time that the body gets rid of unwanted and unneeded waste. This is a great time to challenge your brain with your work, thoughts, and conversations.

5 pm – 7 pm: Kidney

The kidney is in charge of the qi and is directly connected to the bladder. This is the optimal time to have dinner, then “activate your circulation either by walking, having a massage, or stretching.”

7 pm – 9 pm: Pericardium

This organ is the protector of the heart. At this time of the evening, you should be winding down. Adding in some light reading, sex, and self-love will help you with all of that.

The Science Behind the Chinese Body Clock

The Chinese body clock is a very detailed way of following your circadian rhythm. You don’t necessarily need to wake up between the hours of 5 am and 7 am to exercise your lungs or eliminate all artificial light from your life after 9 pm to create a balanced circadian rhythm, but it does give people a comprehensive guide to loving their bodies and taking advantage of them at their peak time. It also helps create a balance of eating, digestion, temperature, and movement.

The Benefits of the Chinese Body Clock

I know it seems very complicated right now, but utilizing and being aware of each organ as it’s highlighted in the Chinese body clock will help your qi move more fluidly and everything align in your life. 

If you continue to live by the principles and suggestions outlined through the body clock, you’ll experience improved sleep, an increase in energy, and better digestion to name a few improvements.

How to Follow the Chinese Body Clock

So now that you know how the Chinese body clock works, how do you make the most of that knowledge? In short — keep to a healthy, consistent sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up early and at the same time every day. Don’t let your weekend plans get in the way of your overall sleep health. One important element of the Chinese body clock to note is that you shouldn’t have a bedtime that’s any later than 10:30 pm, and you should be asleep by 11 pm. 

Also, sleeping for as long as possible doesn’t necessarily add to your health; instead, sleeping during certain hours will. Every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two hours after midnight, so you ought to pack those in. 

Throughout the day, you’ll also want to take steps to get the best sleep at night. These steps include getting adequate sunlight exposure, eating light meals, avoiding caffeine after the morning is over, and exercising regularly. 

If you stick to these methods throughout your days, you’ll more than likely begin sleeping more regularly throughout the night. That does sound like a dream, doesn’t it?


Have you heard of the Chinese body clock before? Are you going to use this method now? Comment below!

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