“Our eyes and eyelids are like the sun and the moon to our internal universe”
Life is a continuous ebb and flow. Nature is forever in tune with her rhythms. There is a season to bloom, a season to die and be dormant, a season to sprout. Everything happens at the right time, without being forced. The sun rises and sets and no matter the lack of electricity, the fools on the road, the natural rhythms remain.
Our bodies are designed to be in tune with this natural rhythm of Mother Nature. Our health depends on it! If we go against this rhythm like so many of us do, we will be riddled with dis-ease. The saying goes …. The root of all evil is money, however I believe the root of all evil is that of insufficient sleep.
Let’s look at the importance of Circadian Rhythms and Melatonin in our sleep health!
What is it?
In short it is the body clock. It is a 24 hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise and eat.
“Your body, which developed its natural rhythms well before humans even started using fire, easily becomes terribly disrupted by little sleep (even by just 90min less per night). In fact, evolution has designed our bodies to follow a number of natural rhythms “ Paul Chek
“Almost every cell in our bodies has a circadian clock and this clock helps every cell figure out when to use energy, when to rest, when to repair DNA and when to replicate DNA” – J Rutter
Did you know? (Paul Chek)
- Early to bed, early to rise – If you don’t go to bed by latest 10PM, you will start to cut into your natural bodily repair cycle.
- Blue light pollution – Light is one of the most important external factors that can affect sleep. The electromagnetic pollution from electrical devices (like TV’s, digital alarm clocks, smart devices, lamps etc.), keeps a lot of people from sleeping well. These effects begin to stack up on one another as lack of sleep is interpreted as a very significant stress input by your body
You might be thinking: “I am super human – I will sleep when I am dead”. Well truthfully, if you do not change your habits and restore your natural rhythm, sooner rather than later your wish will be granted. Another common thought or belief is that certain “lifestyle” dis-ease are hereditary, they are in my genes and it is normal for us humans to grow old and take chronic medication for all ailments.
So for some awareness, here are some effects that a lack of sleep (like I mentioned above as little as 90min per night) have on us
- Mood Swings
- Difficulty in breathing
- Low Energy
- Buildup of fat around the belly
- Trouble recovering from injuries
- Weakened immune system
- Pains in the shoulder, neck and lower back
Tips to restore your Circadian Rhythms and improve your sleep
- Go to bed before 10pm and sleep for 8 hours
- Remove all electronic devices from your room
- Eat right
- Dim the lights and put electronic devices off at least 1 hour before bed time
- Use calming essential oils
- Keep your room cooler rather than warmer
For more on Circadian Rhythms, watch this video: https://zenfit.co.za/reference-material/#circrhythm
“Melatonin is the main hormone synthesized and secreted by the pineal gland. It is produced from a pathway that includes both serotonin and tryptophan”
It plays an important role in the regulation of sleep cycles and its production is influenced by the detection of light and dark by the retina of the eye.
The peak level of production and release of melatonin occurs during the night. Once produced it is secreted into the blood stream and the fluid around the brain and spinal cord, and then conveys signals to distant organs.
What causes low levels of Melatonin in our bodies?
- Exposure to too much light (Including blue light) at night
- Not sufficient natural sunlight during the day
Melatonin though, has more benefits to us than just assisting us to sleep faster:
- Supports eye health
- Ease Tinnitus symptoms
- Treat stomach ulcers and heartburn
- Increase Growth Hormone levels
- Helps with seasonal depression
Here are some natural ways to increase melatonin levels:
- No artificial or LED lights at night
- Get morning sun – especially between 8-10
- Eat Melatonin rich food like Goji Berries, Almonds and Walnuts
- Take a hot bath at night
- No EMF or WiFi exposure at night
- Regulate your caffeine intake
- Take time to pray or meditate at night
- Eat Tryptophan rich food at night (these induce production of serotonin which is required to make melatonin), like Spirulina, Chicken liver, Pumpkin Seed, Almonds, Full Cream Yoghurt, Moringa