Caring for Our Circadian Rhythm

By: Savannah Sinhal

 

Connection with nature has to be a part of any approach to holistic health. Understanding the relationship between ourselves and our environment is knowing that ultimately, we’re all dependent on the earth, and respecting its health and its natural state is respecting our own. 

 

Living in harmony with the planet's circadian rhythms makes it easier to find harmony in everything else. Being more conscious of its daily, monthly and seasonal cycles helps to create flow and consistency- ways to be in a place of ease, rather than dis-ease. Patterns of rest and work feel more productive, we have more energy and focus, more awareness of what we need nutritionally, and seasonal shifts don’t feel so tough. These cycles affect everything- our sleep, microbiome, metabolism and moods. When they fall out of rhythm, it’s easy to lose balance and feel 

 

 Naturally, not every day will follow the same routine, but even small practices can make a big difference to circadian health. When you can, try to:

 

-wake and sleep with the sunrise/sunset

-eat seasonal, local, organic and homegrown foods

-eat your largest meal at lunch. The sun is strongest at midday and so is your digestion

-exercise during the cooler parts of the day, especially early morning

-minimize the use of artificial light, especially in the first and last few hours of the day

-eat light, early dinners for better sleep, so the body can focus more on resting rather than digesting

-eat melatonin-rich foods like cherries, walnuts, almonds, flaxseed and goji berries to aid sleep

-spend more time outside and try to get direct sunlight in the morning.

-cleanse in the spring and autumn. winter is more for building and storing, and the heat in summer already uses up a lot of energy. Transitional seasons are the easiest times to detox

 

    Going against what’s natural is always harder than moving with it. Circadian medicine is a reminder that just as we can’t consider any one aspect of our health alone to understand it completely, we can’t think of ourselves as separate from the rest of our ecosystem either.