Sleep Better

 

 

 

Humans evolved under the influence of the light and dark cycles, produced by the earth’s 24-hour rotation. Sensors in our retina respond to light and darkness by sending signals that regulate how we function.

 

 

 

 Light regulates your internal clock that controls sleep, cognitive functions immune responses, and metabolism. 

   External cues and clock output*

SCN is the suprachiasmatic nucleus or nuclei:  a tiny region on the brain's midline, located directly above the optic chiasm, thus its name. It controls circadian rhythms through the nervous system and hormones.

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* Figure adapted from Ramsey et al, 2007, as cited in:

The Meter of Metabolism.

Carla B. Green, Joseph S. Takahashi, Joseph Bass

Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA.

Cell. 2008 Sep 5;134(5):728-42.

PMID: 18775307, NIH, NLM, PubMed access to MEDLINE biomedical citations 

CR Way travelers can take advantage of their circadian clocks for optimal living. Just by limiting calories, you can reset your circadian clock. But unless you are a shift worker, who must sleep during the day because of working at night, resetting your circadian rhythms intentionally is not a good idea. Disruption of circadian rhythms increases risk for many diseases.

Disruption of the circadian clock for shift workers, has led to so many increased rates of cancer that shift work has been declared a potential carcinogen. In fact, in 2007 the World Health Organization declared shift work a probable carcinogen. Body clock disruptions “can alter sleep-activity patterns, suppress melatonin production and disregulate genes involved in tumor development,” the agency concluded.

It is better to increase the benefits of following your circadian clocks by helping your bodies work in synchrony with your circadian rhythms. Here is the approximate timing of your circadian clock:

Enhancing your Circadian Clock

You can increase the efficacy of your circadian clock through the CR Way lifestyle. Your circadian enhancement kit includes:

  • Cool water face wash in the morning
  • Cool room for sleeping
  • Comfortable bed
  • Moderate exercise
  • Exposure to different kinds of light, as well as darkness, at different times on the clock
  • Meals to increase alertness (more protein) or relaxation (complex carbohydrates) neurotransmitters
  • Meditation
  • Music
  • Slight hunger (can increase depth of sleep or height of alertness, depending on time of day)
  • Standing desk (for better concentration and digestion)
  • Warm baths and showers for increased serotonin/melatonin

See Better Sleep Tips for more. 

Here is the CR Way circadian enhancement clock:


 

Also See:
Evaluating your Sleep
Better Sleep Tips
Better Sleep Plan

Relaxation Ritual for Better Sleep

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