May 26, 2024

Scieron

Health know-how

SIX BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS TO RESET YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHM — Boulder Nutrition

SIX BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS TO RESET YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHM — Boulder Nutrition

This week has felt like a great big exhale to me.  

While I love the summer vibes of fun, spontaneity, and expansion, as per usual for late August, I’m craving a bit more routine and structure. 

This is my favorite time of year to reset my rhythm.

Our ancestors lived in harmony with natures rhythms and cycles, which then determined their circadian rhythm.

Our circadian rhythm connects directly to our primal brains –– impacting all of our involuntary systems –– and hence, our over all well-being.
 
Every aspect of our daily life is rhythmic.

For example, our internal clock prepares us to wake up in the morning by lowering melatonin, increasing cortisol, increasing the speed of our breathing, picking up pace of our heart beats, raising blood pressure levels, and increasing our body temperature.

Our circadian rhythm (influenced by the ☀️) optimizes all of our biological functions.

Our circadian rhythm is governed by melanopsin, the light sensing protein found in our retinas. This is why exposure to sunshine throughout our day (especially in the morning) has such profound health benefits.

Although many of us are guided by technology (alarm clocks, artificial light, and long hours on our screens), the circadian system is malleable, meaning there many ways to continually reset our circadian rhythm, to improve our well-being.

With a new rhythm emerging for many of us, as the back to school season (and late summer) is upon us, you may find with just a few micro-adjustments you can set up you and your family for success to find optimal energy, brain function, focus, deep sleep, and circadian health:

  1. Eat a blood sugar balancing breakfast: Our blood sugar is most sensitive in the mornings, and with all that we are up to most days, we need strong and stable blood sugar levels to carry us through, especially in the morning. Research shows that focus issues such as ADD and ADHD both occur in those with more sensitive blood sugar, and symptoms are also are dramatically improved with stabilized blood sugar. You can check out one of my favorite ways to do this in a new reel I made HERE.

  2. Shoot to eat in a 10-12 hour window during the day: When we eat in a shorter window, we both support our digestive health by minimizing digestive burden and amplifying detoxification, and we attune our eating to our inherent circadian rhythm. Studies show this will improve A1C levels, focus, mood, body composition, and sleep quality.

  3. Get early morning sun exposure for at least 10-15 minutes: As I mentioned, our circadian rhythm is governed by our melanopsin, the light sensors that are found in our retinas. Early morning sun exposure will stimulate healthy levels of cortisol throughout the day as well as higher levels of natural melatonin at night — helping you have energy during sunlight hours, and better sleep during the moonlight hours. Try sitting outside for 10-15 minutes first thing in the morning while the weather still supports this, or take a brisk walk around the block, consider parking further away from school/work for to create a short walk, or add extra time on the playground for your child by arriving a few minutes early (if at all possible).

  4. Eat and sleep at approximately the same time each day: Our primal brains love consistent daily rhythms. When we eat and sleep at approximately the same time each day, we refine the cadence and rhythm of all the biological functions in our body. Find your back-to-school groove with the best fairly consistent mealtimes and bedtimes for your family.

  5. Avoid bright lights and too much screen time at night: Our melatonin levels are stimulated by the diminishing light towards the end of the day, and full darkness as we sleep. Too much time with bright lights in the evening will misinform our sleep and wake hormones (melatonin and cortisol) making it harder for us to fall into a deeper sleep. Strive to dim the lights at night at home, and to take at least 1 hour away from screens before bed.

  6. Adjust your ideal schedule to the season: Each season has a different nuance and rhythm, governed by the sun. When we adjust our daily schedule to match the season (such as being home and more quiet earlier in the winter evenings, and more social and expansive in the summer evenings), we synchronize our systems with nature’s organic flow. Try adjusting your evenings to a slightly earlier winding down time as the season changes into fall, and then again as we approach the darker winter months.

May we all find our optimal rhythms to live in harmony with nature, because we are nature.

Be well,