The Importance of Circadian Rhythm for Your Health and Mental Wellbeing
The circadian rhythm is a fundamental biological clock that regulates several essential bodily functions, including sleep-wake cycle, hormone production, and body temperature.
Disruption of the circadian rhythm can lead to various health issues such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, and mental health disorders.
Therefore, it is essential to optimize our circadian rhythm to maintain good health and mental wellbeing.
This article will discuss the importance of circadian rhythm for health and wellbeing, how to optimize it, and how living in Dubai can affect it.
FURTHER READING & RESEARCH CITED
Exposure to Sunlight
Exposure to sunlight, particularly in the morning, is crucial for regulating our circadian rhythm. Morning sunlight triggers the brain to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep, and starts producing cortisol, a hormone that promotes wakefulness. Daytime sunlight also helps regulate our body's clock and promotes healthy sleep patterns at night.
ARTIFICIAL LIGHT AT NIGHT
In contrast, avoiding exposure to artificial light at night is equally important in regulating the circadian rhythm. Artificial light, especially blue light emitted by electronic devices and energy-efficient light bulbs, can suppress the production of melatonin, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
It is recommended to avoid electronic devices and artificial light at least two hours before bedtime.
Another way to optimize the circadian rhythm is by exercising during the daytime instead of at night. Daytime exercise helps to increase our exposure to sunlight, which helps regulate our body's clock and promotes healthy sleep patterns. In contrast, exercising at night can disrupt our sleep-wake cycle and interfere with our body's natural circadian rhythm.
EATING HABITS & CIRCADIAN RHYTHM
Regulating our food and drink choices can also affect our circadian rhythm. Consuming caffeine and alcohol can interfere with our body's natural sleep-wake cycle, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Speaking to a nutritionist in Dubai might help you to understand more about your specific individual requirements.
On the other hand, a balanced diet and consuming meals at regular times can help regulate our body's clock and promote healthy sleep patterns.
Research has also suggested that finishing our meals before sunset could benefit our circadian rhythm.
A study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found that mice that were only allowed to eat during an eight-hour window at night had better metabolic health and were less likely to develop health issues such as obesity and diabetes.
ROOM TEMPERATURE AT NIGHT
Keeping our bedroom temperature at a comfortable level is crucial for regulating our circadian rhythm and promoting healthy sleep patterns.
Studies have shown that a cooler bedroom temperature can help improve sleep quality, while a warmer temperature can interfere with our body's natural sleep-wake cycle.
Living in Dubai, a city known for its hot and sunny weather, can pose challenges in regulating our circadian rhythm. The intense sunlight and hot climate can affect our exposure to natural light, leading to a delayed onset of melatonin and affect our sleep-wake cycle.
However, being mindful of our exposure to sunlight, avoiding artificial light at night, regulating our sleep patterns, and keeping our bedroom temperature at a comfortable level can optimize our circadian rhythm for better health outcomes.
TOP TIPS TO HELP YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHM
These 7 simple tips will help you to improve your circadian rhythm:
- Try to get natural sunlight exposure in the morning by going for a walk or sitting outside for a few minutes. This can help regulate your circadian rhythm and improve sleep quality.
- If you exercise regularly, consider working out during the daytime instead of in the evening. This can help regulate your circadian rhythm and improve sleep quality.
- Try to finish eating before sunset, as this may benefit your circadian rhythm and overall health.
- Avoid exposure to artificial light at night and keep your bedroom at a cooler temperature to promote better sleep quality.
- If you live in a hotter climate like Dubai, be mindful of how this may affect your circadian rhythm and consider taking steps to regulate it.
- Make sure to consume a diet high in fiber, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as this may help promote better sleep quality and a more regular sleep-wake cycle.
- Consider speaking with a medical professional, such as those at Valiant Clinic & Hospital's Family Medicine Department, for personalized guidance on how to improve your circadian rhythm and overall health.