Inika Superfoods - March 31st, 2024

The Body's Internal Clock: Understanding Your Body's Natural Rhythm

 The Body Internal Clock: Understanding Your Body's Natural Rhythm

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book."

Waking up feeling fresh and rested after a long-night sleep is an amazing feeling, it sets the tone for the rest of the day and has a big impact on our mood. Being able to rest our mind and body properly is key to having a happy and productive day, and in the long term it also affects or quality of life and longevity.

Understanding your body's internal clock, also known as circadian rhythm, can help you achieve a greater balance and vitality in your life, so let's talk more about all the variables that can affect your internal clock and what you can do to fix it.

The circadian rhythm

The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle in charge of many different functions in our body, this rhythm is regulated by a small area in the brain called suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which responds to cues from the environment such as light and temperature.

One important function of the circadian rhythm is your sleep-wake cycle. Having a balanced circadian rhythm helps your internal clock tell you it's time to sleep and wake up, regulating your sleep patterns.

The circadian rhythm also regulates your metabolism and the production of many hormones such as melatonin, cortisol and insulin. These important hormones are produced on a schedule, and the disruption of this natural rhythm can make a significant change in your mood and emotions.

Unbalanced internal clock

Having mentioned the important functions that a balanced circadian rhythm provides, surely it gives you a clear idea why whenever you don't get a good night sleep can affect your day in many different ways. When many important body functions are not being regulated, it makes you feel off, both mentally and physically.

Some negative effects of ignoring our body's internal clock can be:

-Poor quality sleep, this can be not feeling well rested in the morning, having difficulty falling asleep or experiencing insomnia.

-Increased risk of metabolic disorders, this ranges from problems with weight fluctuation,  obesity, or in the worst cases even diabetes.

-Hormonal imbalances, we mentioned the different hormones that the circadian rhythm regulates, and having the production of them disrupted can make you experience mood swings, fatigue and other symptoms.

How to work with your body's internal clock

Now that we understand better the role of the body's internal clock, working to balance it its actually easier than you think. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Stick to a regular sleep schedule

 Set a time for you to go to bed every night, and an alarm to wake up in the mornings. We all love sleeping late on the weekends, but this is not beneficial for your circadian rhythm, so make sure to stick to this schedule even on the weekends. Doing this will help your body regulate its sleep-wake cycle.

The Body's Internal Clock: Understanding Your Body's Natural Rhythm

Get plenty of natural light

Natural sunlight is one of the most important factors to keep your circadian rhythm functioning properly. Exposing yourself to natural light during start of the day - preferably as soon as you wake up - will signal your internal clock that it's daytime and will kickstart hormone production.

During wintertime, if you live in a country with low access to sunlight, you can search for sun lamps that mimic sunlight providing you with the same effects. 

Avoid bright lights at night

It's time to stop scrolling your phone at bedtime. Bright lights in the evening can disrupt your body's production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall asleep.

We recommend turning off all electronic devices one hour before your planned bedtime. This can be a good time to get cosy and catch up with some reading or doing some meditation, which we will get into more detail below.

Eat your meals at a consistent time

Life usually gets in the way of our meal schedules, so we understand is not so easy for everyone to adopt a strict eating schedule. 

Even if you cannot always eat on a schedule, designate specific eating intervals everyday, this will help you regulate your metabolism and also prevent overeating.

Practice yoga and meditation

Yoga and meditation are known to help reduce stress and also make you relax. These two practices are wonderful at helping regulate your body's internal clock and amazing activities to perform before bedtime to help you wind down.

Implementing these simple steps to support your body's internal clock will significantly boost your energy levels and mood - and who doesn't want to be happy and energetic all the time? Make sure you share this post with your loved ones and help them achieve a greater balance and vitality in their lives.

Love,
Inika Superfoods

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