THE CIRCADIAN EFFECT
Light begets dark, dark begets light.
This rhythm is the circadian clock.
A daily repeating cycle of light and dark, entwining every living thing on the planet to its pulse.
The circadian rhythm effects everything from animals to plants to bacteria. As humans, we are so tuned the to presence or absence of light
that our metabolic responses are profoundly affected by and react to this daily rhythm.
Before the industrial revolution (and artificial lighting), mankind lived in sync with this circadian rhythm.
We arose at daybreak and the melatonin in our bodies rose and we began to feel awake. We were outside most of the day, hunting and fishing and tending to daily chores, all the while soaking up natural blue sunlight. At sunset, the waning light naturally lowered our metabolic responses (melatonin). Our bodies slowed and we began to feel tired. We ate by firelight and went to bed earlier. Pre-artificial light, our clocks were intrinsically regulated by the sun.
AN ARTIFICIAL SHIFT
That circadian rhythm is ingrained in our DNA. But with the onset of the industrial revolution, and specifically artificial light, we have shifted human activity to betray that natural instinct. What are we doing differently?
More and more of our time is spent INDOORS. Some days it’s ALL indoors!
Our homes, work and schools are just the tip of the iceberg. What about your gym, grocery store, movie theaters, restaurants? Think about those hours spent inside watching your kids at karate or ballet practices. How much of your life do you spend in airports, even more inside an airplane? All the while soaking up artificial light instead of the natural sunlight our bodies need for proper heath and wellness.
THE BOX-to-BOX HABIT
Unlike our ancestors, we now move from one box to another. And those boxes control the quality of light we receive. Which means the people who own and operate those boxes control the quality of light with which you are being inundated.
Two things are more clear than ever:
Since we are inside all day, we are not receiving enough blue light during the day. Natural sunlight is scientifically required to nourish our health systems...and we simply aren't getting enough.
We receive TOO much of that blue light at night. We stay up far later than our ancestors, exposing our bodies to much more harsh blue light. And we are inundated to blue light via cell phones, TV and computers.
Yet our circadian clock still runs the same. We cannot change our DNA.
THE CIRCADIAN DISTUBANCE
So what happens when you disturb that natural Circadian Rhythm? When we don’t get enough blue light during the day because we are constantly inside? When you get too much at night because we are staying up so late under harsh lighting conditions? You have a much harder time falling asleep. And when your Circadian Rhythm breaks down, body functions follow....
Studies have shown that lack of sleep or sleep deprivation can have immense effects:
• Mood swings
• Brain fog
• Reduced alertness (rapid decision-making skills)
• Daytime sleepiness
• Compromised learning