Chinese Meridian Clock



Do you want some insight as to why you wake up at an odd hour every night? Or are you curious about what your organs are up to while you are sleeping? If so, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which is based on thousands of years of education and experience,  might have an answer for you.

The meridian clock you see above is used by TCM practitioners to help locate areas of concern in the body.  This ancient clock is broken down into twelve sections, each with a 2-hour block defining the organ that is “on duty” during that time.

Looking at the meridian clock it shows that at 330AM the lungs are on duty, which I find to be very accurate to a recent experience. Let me share a bit about it.

Last year I was waking every night about 330AM to either breastfeed or pump milk for my daughter. Even though it had been almost a year of multiple night wakings, I forced myself to roll out of bed anyways. Many nights I was so tired I was nauseous but I didn’t let that stop me. Because I kept ignoring my body’s pleas to get more rest, I eventually came down with a lingering and painful case of bronchitis. Even though I fell sick and was doing everything in my power to heal my lungs, I still woke up every morning at 330AM to tend to my milk making duties. Maybe not the best idea. In the end, I took a round of antibiotics and as a result had to spend half a year building up my gut flora. Lesson learned.

I forget that no matter how healthy, I eat or live or even think, if I don’t get adequate SLEEP, my body suffers. What I find interesting is that I was pushing myself hardest at the time my lungs were on duty.

Here are some additional tips to follow throughout the 24 hour cycle:

5-7AM: Wash your body and comb your hair to clear out mind clutter. Good time for a bowel movement as large intestine is on duty.
7-9AM: Eat your biggest meal as your tummy is on duty.
9-11AM: Good time to exercise and/or work (this is the time I am most work-productive).
11-1PM: Good time for a light cooked meal and a nap.
1-3PM: Good time for exercise and/or tasks.
3-5PM: Study period or detoxification as the bladder is on duty.
5-7PM: Eat dinner, stretch and/or have a massage.
7-9PM: A good time for sex, conception and reading.
9-11PM: Getting your sleep at this time will give you extra energy for tomorrow.
11-1AM: A time to store yang energy through sleep. A vital time of sleep for those that are yang deficient.
1-3AM: Hopefully you are in deep sleep at this time.
3-5AM: Keep yourself warm and sleeping.

If you are waking at a strange time every night it might be fun to look into the meridian clock and see if it helps you to uncover what is going on in your body. Who knows, your body just might be telling you something.