Only dreaming of a good night’s sleep?

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1 in 5 people in the Netherlands suffer from regular sleep issues. Our sleep and circadian rhythm are the basis for physical and mental health, a balanced mood – and general functioning during the day!

While sleep is an often overlooked component of health and wellbeing, anyone who has experienced sleep deprivation knows exactly how vital it is! Sleep is the foundation for

  • Physical health (repair and regeneration, growth, hormone balance and immune system);
  • Mental health (moods, memory and problem solving skills);
  • Productivity & energy (concentration, reaction time, feeling fit and ready);
  • Weight management (hunger and metabolism);
  • Social life (patience, empathy, stress management).
Next to the quantity of sleep, quality and timing also matter!

Circadian rhythm

The circadian rhythm is an internal biological clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and other physiological processes. This roughly 24-hour cycle responds primarily to light and darkness and plays a crucial role in determining sleep patterns, feeding behaviors, hormone release, and other bodily functions. Aligning sleep with the natural circadian rhythm generally leads to better sleep quality and restorative rest, while disruptions shake up when we feel sleepy, alert and hungry – think jetlag!

To use the circadian rhythm to your advantage


  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule! Going to bed and waking up approximately at the same time – ideally, aligned to natural light/darkness – will help falling asleep easier and waking up more energized. Prefer setting an “alarm” for when you should go to bed instead of when you should wake up, counting your ideal sleep time (around 8 hours)!
    Note: “catching up” on sleep in the weekend or with naps doesn’t really work! Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night!
  • Focus light exposure to daytime! Get plenty of natural light during the day and limit blue light in the evening! Stop using electronics at least an hour before your bedtime!
  • Eat/drink in line with the circadian rhythm! Next to meal times, limiting heavy meals and stimulants like coffee in the evening will aid better sleep.
  • Move your body! Regular exercise has many benefits, better sleep being one! Avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime though – a stroll after dinner can already do miracles!

Waking up at certain times: the Chinese body clock

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the “body clock” or “meridian clock”, divides the 24-hour day into 12 two-hour intervals, each corresponding to a specific organ system. According to TCM, during each interval, the Qi is at its peak in the associated organ, optimizing its function. Each meridian/organ influences various physiological and emotional functions – hence also sleep patterns.

Waking up around the same time regularly can correlate to specific health or emotional blockages – see some typical indications hereunder! 


Clock of meridians TCM
Time Meridian Health Concept
11 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Detoxification & digestion of fats
(In)decision, unresolved anger
1 a.m. - 3 a.m.
Blood detoxification & metabolism
Frustration, transformation
3 a.m. - 5 a.m.
Respiratory & skin issues
Grief, freedom of speech
5 a.m. - 7 a.m.
Large intestine
Retention, guilt

The above are examples – let me know in the comments if you want to know more!

Tackling the underlying health issues – if any – is a priority! You might want to support with techniques of Traditional Chinese Medicine, personalized to you. For an example:

CASE: a client living a healthy lifestyle and not experiencing specific stress could not sleep through the night for weeks before contacting me. In the session, we discovered she usually woke up at around the same time, 4 a.m., the peak time of Lung energy, and could not fall back asleep. From her anamnesis it appeared she had asthma, also an indication of disbalance in Lung energy. After an all-round kinesiology session, I showed her a technique of acupressure tailored to her situation that she could use herself at night. With these 2 interventions, she improved her sleep significantly in a matter of days!

To discover more about your specific situation, you can book a session for kinesiology in Breda or Rotterdam.

Falling asleep: Bedtime!

You might struggle falling asleep, even if the above lifestyle and meridian factors are well taken care of. If you don’t have a medical condition (insomnia, chronic pain…) causing difficulties falling asleep, you might suffer from worries/ rumination or a poor sleep environment. 

You might be able to remedy these by


  • Creating a healthy sleep environment. Ideally, your bedroom should be dark, quiet and well ventilated. If needed, blackout curtains, earplugs, a white noise machine or new, breathable bedding can help.
    Try theta or delta waves music like this deep sleep music!
  • Establishing a relaxing night time routine to wind down. This could include reading a book, taking a warm bath, sipping on chamomile tea or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.
    One breathing exercise to try is box breathing: inhale during 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds. 
Box breathing for sleep

If you need a quick boost...

You are not alone, you can always invoke some support! Next to kinesiology for the structural issues, I can also boost your recovery with deeply relaxing techniques like Craniosacral reflexology and Access Bars.

Craniosacral therapy works with the cerebrospinal fluid to stimulate the self healing capacity of the body. The gentle manipulation used is directly deeply relaxing – music can be added to enhance this effect. During a session, you can comfortably lie down and enjoy some quiet time – while afterwards, you will reap the restorative benefits!

In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, craniosacral reflexology also balances the nervous system and eases discomfort (even helps make chronic pain manageable).

Over an hour of relaxation & better sleep at night, thus double benefits!

Access Bars is an energetic technique conducive to more awareness and a peaceful mind. The 32 points and bars each touched for an extended time throughout a session correspond to different areas of life, at which it helps clear limiting beliefs.

You might fall asleep during the gentle, steady touches of an Access Bars session. It helps quieting the mind beyond a session, typically the mental clutter is reduced for a week after a single appointment! Thereby, you are likely to fall asleep easier.

Clients using sleep tracking report increased times in deep sleep state thus better physical restoration.

In summary, regular, adequate quality and quantity of sleep is essential for mental and physical health, disease prevention and general wellbeing. By addressing your lifestyle, your bedtime routine and potential underlying health and emotional concerns, you can significantly improve your sleep – and thus overall health & fitness!

If you are looking for more personalized support or a boost to your sleep & recovery, get in touch!

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