If you think your health is completely within your control, think again! Every biological, automated function is controlled by light. You CAN choose how much sleep you get each day, but you CAN’T control the effect of “lack of sleep” on your biological functions and health.
Living in modern America 2013, means you have very little access to natural sunlight during your day, but have tons of access to electronic light.
This wrecks havoc on our health and our circadian rhythm.
Our automated functions are controlled by “circadian rhythm” which is initiated by light of any kind and certain chemical reactions are activated with that automated bio-rhythm. Without this crucial knowledge, you may feel like your health spins out of control regardless of what you do!
Monitoring and evaluating the amount of daily light you are exposed to will help you regain that!
How light affects your Circadian Rhythm and health
Light signals your auto-pilot body clock, called a circadian rhythm, because its derived from the word “circle.” When you wake and sleep are the two actions within your control that activate this auto-pilot rhythm. Your sleep cycle triggers your metabolism, mood, healing, hormones, energy and every biological activity in you! The sleep cycle is one of the main cornerstones of your health.
The Quick Fix
If you have trouble falling to sleep or staying asleep, many people take a sleeping pills. This helps short term, but doesn’t reset the natural cycle and hinders it from returning. Using pills long term use could initiates a cascade of dis-function within every body system.
Signs you need a Circadian Cycle RESET
1- You need an alarm to wake up. If you force your body to adhere by your sleep schedule, there will be a back-lash of ill health sometime in your future! You can train your body to wake up automatically when you need to. I’ve been doing it for 15 years!
2- You get hot flashes. Your body temperature regulator is broke if this happens and just taking a hormone pill won’t fix it. It was designed to adjusts to the environment, and within a short time of a season change of weather, you will be acclimated.
3- You always (or never) feel hungry. Hormones regulate hunger, so a reset could naturally help balance both hunger and hormones.
4- You get sick. There was a study done on the bio-rhythm of mice and how sleep affected thier immune system. The mice were injected with bacteria and viruses and one groups of mice maintained their sleep cycle, while another group was NOT allowed regular sleep. The sleepy mice got sick, while the rested mice did not.
5- You get depressed or feel anxiety. Your mood regulator goes out of whack when you’re sleep deprived. Many people eat when they can’t control their emotions, therefore, many people gain weight as a result of being sleep deprived.
A process of “resetting” your circadian rhythm involves your sleep schedule, your exercise routine, the amount and type of food you eat and when you eat that food.
1. Get on a regular sleep cycle, even on the weekends. Shift work is tough on your automated systems. Do the best you can with what you’ve chosen to be involved in with your life, but simply make sleeping more a priority than you’ve done in the past. Sleep deprivation is widespread in our culture so you might not even realize you suffer from it. It took years to mis-align your sleep cycle and it may take years to reset it. The earth’s natural cycle of sunrise and sunset is the best natural “reset” technique there is.
2. Limit indoor light. Having indoor lights and electronic devices so intertwined with how we live, work and relax means we are exposed to electronic light for several hours a day. This confuses your internal circadian rhythm and leads slower function in chemical reactions, hormones and cell activity.
This means all your systems get sluggish and S L O W W a y d o w n. Your metabolism will be hypo-functioning so much that even synthroid can’t up-regulate it. Stay away from electronic light during the evening hours as much as possible and increase natural sunlight during the day as best you can to “reset” your rate of function.
3. Move that body! It’s important for every chemical process, every system of your
body and even your emotions …. that you move! You were meant to move! Your arms and legs have joints in the middle of them that don’t keep working unless you move them. Joints have low blood flow and rely on motion to keep them full of nutrients. It’s no wonder that so many knee replacements and “tennis elbow” occur with our sedentary lifestyle! Take a walk everyday, even though you need to go easy at first. Go long not fast to begin building your strength and to “reset” your cell motion.
4. Stop eating past 7 P.M. Eating food means your digestive system must be put to work breaking down the food you put in your mouth and then making it absorbable and then distributing it where those nutrients are needed.
Digestion is the SINGLE most energy draining activity you can do, so allow your body a rest from this activity to relax your body and prepare you for sleep. Keep in mind that lack of sleep can make you feel hungry, so consider going to bed early instead of eating so late. Do the best you can, but realize how not eating can aid in a rhythm reset.
Disruptions in your sleep cycle cascades inward to your entire body. It affects how
you look, how you work inside and how you feel. Tomorrow’s article, Circadian Rhythm – Part 4, will look at how moods and the hippocampus are affected by the circadian rhythm and how to be even happier everyday!
The adjustment helps to reset how your body controls every chemical reaction underneath that skin of yours as it aligns your back and spine.
Remember, When Your Body Works, Your Life Works!