A modern day problem for so many of us is the feeling of being permanently tired and exhausted. We go to bed earlier but still wake up the next morning feeling like it’s the middle of the night and just want to go back to sleep.
A lot of this can simply be due to fact of the world we live in, a world where stimuli are available 24/7. Our bodies, however, were designed to operate not in this new world, but in a more simple way, where day and night were part of a daily rhythm of living. This day / night cycle is called the circadian rhythm.
Most of our body processes are tied to these circadian rhythms, whether it be when we eat or sleep, when we digest and rebuild healthy cells and so on. It is not surprising then that if we interfere with these natural body rhythms by imposing artificial stimuli ‘out of normal rhythm’, our bodies will react negatively.
Thus, it makes sense to reduce and where possible eliminate these interferences where possible and let our bodies internal body clock work as it was designed. Here are some suggestions:
- Weekends are not times to stay up late and sleep in. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day of the week.
- Fasting at night is normal, that’s why we break the fast every morning. Fasting lets your body work better at fighting viruses and disease and healing itself overnight. Have your evening meal at least 3 hours before going to bed and don’t snack or you lose the benefits of fasting.
- Day time is designed to be a time when you are outside, getting the benefits of direct sunlight which allows your body to produce Vitamin D, important for fighting inflammation.
- Night time is meant for rest and sleep. Extending the day with artificial lighting, and worse, exposing yourself to the blue light emitted by TV’s and mobile devices, needs to be minimised. Try to eliminate blue light exposure at least an hour before going to bed.
- Caffeine consumption has been shown to interfere with the body clock and with excessive consumption can cause many sleep problems. It is recommended you stop taking caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
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For more on the rhythm method click here