The human body works according to a natural 24 hour sleep-wake cycle, also referred to as a circadian rhythm, which controls body temperature, sleep/wake timing, and the way our organs and body systems work together. Past research has shown that irregular sleep patterns and shift work take a toll on even the healthiest person over an extended period.
In Ayurvedic medicine, the closer we adhere to the cycles of life, both daily as well as seasonally, the healthier we are. When the sun rises, we should rise. When the sun is highest in the sky, meaning noon-time, we have the most digestive energy, thus we should eat our largest meal. When the sun sets is when we would be best served going to bed. Eating seasonally (local produce) is the best way to get the healthiest and most energetic foods into our bodies.
Disruption of an individual’s natural sleep-wake cycle has been determined to be a contributing factor in the development of organ disease. A disruption of circadian rhythms, when combined with a high-fat, high-sugar diet, may contribute to inflammatory bowel disease and other harmful conditions. Including probiotics in the diet can help normalize the effects of circadian rhythm disruption on the intestinal flora to reduce the presence of inflammation. (Risk University Medical Center)
The following is a list of suggestions to help keep you in rhythm: Awaken each day with the sun. If this seems too early, awaken as close to sunrise as possible. Rising early offers you the most energetic time of the day to accomplish your goals. Eat a light breakfast, large lunch (prime digestion time) and light dinner. Retire and rest when the sun sets.
There are clear patterns of brain wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration and other biological activities linked to this daily cycle. It is important to notice and pay attention to our circadian rhythms as we go through our days. Honoring our cycles is a sure-proof way to keep our bodies healthy and our spirits high.
©Authentic Health and Wellness, 2015.