Mastering your Circadian Rhythm for Health, Happiness & Success
Have you ever noticed how those who are early rises and early to bed are usually very happy and healthy people? Well lets get talking about your circadian rhythm and how you can master it to gain optimal health, happiness and success.
Hours Of Sleep:
Well there is scientific reasoning as to why! Naturally our bodies circadian rhythm works at its optimal when we sleep between 10pm and 6am.
So if we settle into bed with a book at 9.30pm to wind down and be asleep by 10pm. We then allow our alarms to wake up at 6am. This equals 8 hours of the best optimal sleep.
Physical Repair Stage:
Between the hours of 10pm – 2am our bodies are going through the stages of physical repair. This means if you are not falling asleep until 11am you are missing out on a crucial hour of physical repair. This stage is where the cells and tissues damaged through out the day from environmental toxins, stress, movement etc are repaired. In todays society we need every minute of this 4 hours we can take.
Psychological Repair Stage:
Between 2am- 6am is our bodies psychological repair stage. This is where we allow our body to regulate the mental side of stress, anxiety and retain the days information, while boosting the brains cognitive function.
So now we understand the importance of our hours of sleep, lets look into our hours of wake and how we can optimise these to be our most productive, happy and healthy selves 🙂
Hours of Wake:
Naturally our body will experience hormonal changes during a 24 hour circadian cycle.
As sun receptors touch our skin in the morning it stimulates the release of cortisol (responsible for our energy) to originally allow us to have optimal energy to hunt. Today we don’t need to hunt. Well I don’t know about you but my form of hunting extends as far as trying to find the jar I’m after in my far too full food cupboard!
This release of cortisone however it a great tool to be utilising to make the most out of your morning workout and/or buckle down and get through the bulk of the days to-do list. Our cortisone levels start dramatically rising as soon as we wake, with peak cortisol release between 8am-10am!
So if we everyday woke at 6am, completed our workout for the day, had a wholesome breakfast and in the office just after 8am- imagine the advantage we would have on our day, week, well life in general… Use the morning to tick off your workout and activities that require high brain energy such as strategising, planning, creative thinking and idea developing.
Then utilise the afternoons for a time of more slow paced, less energy based activities such as desk work, studying, reading, cooking, pottering, doing the food shopping etc.. From 6pm our body starts to release melatonin responsible for preparing for our sleep cycle.
In regards to exercise, the late afternoons should be put aside for walks, yoga, gentle pilates. While mornings are better suited for your higher intensity Group Fitness Class, running, HIIT session etc..
When we work against this cycle, our body will not adapt, it just misses out on experiencing optimal health. It will do the best job it can with what it has to work with. If we are constantly working against our natural circadian cycle however, can you imagine the stress and strain we are placing on our bodies.
What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, by author Laura Vanderkam, shares that its no coincidence that early risers have a reputation for being successful. “It is a common trait found in many CEOs, government officials, and other influential people,” says Jennifer Cohen in Forbes. “Margaret Thatcher was up every day at 5am; Frank Lloyd Wright at 4am and Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney, wakes at 4.30am just to name a few.”
So while life doesn’t always allow us to live life following our natural circadian rhythm. In the name of success, health and happiness what changes can you put in place to ensure you are allowing your body as much of those optimal sleep hours (10pm-6am) as possible and structure your day so you start with higher energy activities and end the day in a nurturing, low energy style?
Feeling motivated to bring more balance back into your life! You can also check out The 14 Day Holistic Metabolism Program to kick start a holistic lifestyle routine xx