Sleep is our ultimate tool to repair ourselves and fight disease. It takes literally no effort, we come out of it with more energy and it’s free!
Avoid circadian stress to achieve and maintain optimal health. Our bodies have a natural built-in clock. Our hormonal system that keeps the engine running 24/7 is heavily influenced by the rise and fall of the Sun and in turn directs our bodies natural rhythms and cycles.
Our Natural Clock
Our body does its physical repair cycle at night between 10 pm and 2 am and psychogenic or mental/nervous system repair between 2 am and 6 am. Frequently going to bed after 10 pm reduces the bodies healing mechanisms and missing sleep between 2 am and 6 am will result in progressive nervous system fatigue and psychogenic stress.
If you have current complaints, compare your complaints with your sleep habits and you may find that your best treatment approach could be as simple as going to sleep at 10 pm and waking up at 6 am or even a little later if you need to catch up on lost sleep.
Stress hormones are activated (the drive to get out of bed and get going into the day) with the rise of the Sun. Repair hormones start to kick in as the Sun goes down. Prolonged exposure to bright lights when the Sun is down keeps stress hormones elevated and repair hormones suppressed. The same rule applies with screen time. As the light hits our skin and pupils, the reticular activating system (the system that switches you on) is stimulated further suppressing the rest and repair cycle. This presents itself as having a hard time getting up in the morning, not feeling rested after sleeping, easily fatigued, and overall feeling of weakness. The continual release of stress hormones may be a great idea for a hiker who is moving faster to avoid a storm and is faced with a move or get stuck situation, but you don’t want this response to be a daily occurrence.
Upon waking ideally, it would be with the Sun. You should feel rested with good mental clarity. There should be a desire for food and water having fasted all night. If these sound foreign to you, you can try the tips below.
Electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) from phones, laptops, powerlines and Wi-Fi modems also affect your sleep as the radiation produced by these are many times greater than what the body resonates to naturally. It is highly recommended by many professionals to turn your Wi-Fi off at night as well as keeping your phone on flight mode (don’t worry your alarm will still go off) while you’re sleeping. Animal studies relating to EMF exposure showed it took anywhere between 8 to 24 hours for the animals to calm down post exposure to EMFs.
A disrupted sleep cycle can also result in adrenal fatigue. Chronic exposure to stress and light at night requires the adrenal is to produce more cortisol than his normal and excessive production of cortisol leads to adrenal fatigue, which presents itself in a number of ways including chronic fatigue syndrome, viral infections, bacterial and fungal infections and headaches.
To combat the above, you can try:
- Try unplugging all electrical appliances in your bedroom, including clocks, TVs and lights. Also avoid using electric blanket. You may even need to rearrange your bedroom so that all electrical devices are as far away from your bed as possible if your sleep quality improves.
- Minimise exposure to bright lights, particularly fluorescent lights for at least two hours before going to bed. If you don’t have dimmer switches, try lighting your house with candles or lamps with low wattage lightbulbs.
- Sleep in a room that is completely dark
- Avoid consumption of stimulants (caffeine, sugar and nicotine after lunch)
- Drink plenty of water. The bodies don’t have much water reserves and once dehydrated, the body responds as though it’s experiencing stress. It’s important to remember if your body is stressed it produces stress hormones, these will keep you awake
- Get to sleep by 10:30 pm. If you need to wind down before sleep, make the appropriate adjustments. Getting to bed at 10 pm and reading until 11 pm defeats the purpose
Nasties at Night
It’s also worth mentioning when your body has too many unfriendly bacteria, is host to parasites or harbouring excess toxic waste, your adrenal glands will be under constant stress. This situation will commonly exhaust adrenal glands which is likely to disrupt your sleep patterns. In this situation, you would need to take necessary measures to detoxify your system.
Shift work is also very stressful to the body. When working night shifts for more than about 2 weeks straight, seemingly unrelated symptoms can start to appear. When circadian rhythm’s become out of sync, one of the best things you can do is go camping for 7 nights. This is one of the most efficient ways to re-sync your body clock and harmonise back to nature.
We are designed to rise and fall with the sun. All of our bodily systems function on this timetable and so far it’s worked for millions of years so make sure to get your copy today!