Stress & Circadian Rhythm

by Trace on April 13, 2010

Much of nature is made up of rhythms or cycles.4Seasons

Common rhythms include the four seasons and the twenty-four hour rotation of the earth.

Like nature, our bodies have rhythms.

Some of the rhythms of body and mind are tied to nature.

SunriseWhen working properly, our bodies respond to nature’s cues to create their ideal rhythms. For example, when functioning properly, the human circadian rhythm will respond to the morning light of a new day. This light will cue the body to produce cortisol, serotonin, and other hormones and neurotransmitters that get a person awake and going and cause blood pressure to increase and body temperature to rise.

At sunset, the body receives another of nature’s cues and responds to dusk and ultimately the night’s darkness. As the Sunsetsun goes down the body will produce and secrete the hormone melatonin, and blood pressure will drop as the body prepares for and eventually falls off to sleep.

In reality circadian rhythms control the timing, quantity and quality of the hormones and neurotransmitters the body produces and eventually secretes. Hormones and neurotransmitters are the elements that determine how we feel, our sleep patterns, our appetite, our sex drive and other sleep and mood-related issues.

InsomniaDepression can sometimes be the result of our bodies producing the wrong hormones at the wrong time of day. This imbalance in the circadian system can be caused from lack of sleep, stress, trauma, inappropriate timing of sleep-wake periods, genetic factors, shiftwork, or lack of light.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is the closely related to our circadian rhythm.   Sad

When life was simple!

It’s not so long ago,only a couple of decades,we would wake up with the sun and prepare for sleep as darkness fell. Most of our days were spent outdoors in the sunshine, but today we spend much more time indoors. We are only just beginning to realise how important this was for our health, because we each have an internal body clock that depends on sunlight to tell us when to be active and energetic, and when to sleep.

Our lifestyles are so much more hectic now, we often miss these critical cues from the sun and moon, and our body NewMoon2clocks suffer. Without adequate light each morning, our body clocks fail to produce the hormones we need to start the day feeling active. When we miss out on daytime light, we become less productive and lethargic. At night, we usually stay up hours after dark often causing sleep and mood problems.

It is a now a known fact, how active we are, our general mood and how well we sleep, are all dependent upon our body clock.

So…How to Overcome Stress Naturally and be in Rhythm with Nature

  • Sunlight exposure –Major source of Vit D. Low vitamin D levels can cause osteoporosis, a condition in which our bones lose calcium, become brittle and are susceptible to fracture. Low Vit D is also linked with WalkingSeniorsmultiple sclerosis, diabetes, bowel cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and lymphoma.
  • Check with your health practitioner if you are unsure how much sun per day is right for you…a healthy walk in the morning or afternoon sun is idea.
  • Regular Exercise – Effective for depression and anxiety. Boost the benefits by exercising outdoors in  a little bit of sunshine.
  • Make an Appointment with Yourself to Go To bed by 10pm…Yes Every Night.
  • Nurture yourself – exercise regularly, have good sleeping habits and eat a healthy diet.

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Listen to this short video…..Early to Bed, Early to Rise, Makes a  Man (& Woman!) Health, Wealthy & Wise…as the saying goes.

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