Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What Time Is It & Why That Matters For Your Body

Our bodies have their own natural, internal clock mechanism, and this is known as our circadian rhythm.  It is our body's own 24 hour cycle that drives almost every system in the body.  These systems include metabolism, memory, mood, circulation and more.  Depending on the time of day that it is, certain chemicals and hormones will release that will control or affect the body functions.  For example, in darkness melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep is released.  If you stay up late surfing the internet or texting on your smart phone, you are exposed to light. This will cause a delay in the releasing of melatonin and potentially cause insomnia or disrupted sleep cycles.

Ayurveda uses the body's circadian body rhythm as a form of treatment to bring a person back to balance and begin healing.  For example, early morning awakening is recommended for getting adequate daylight and evening food intake should be minimal and stopped by 7:00 or 8:00 PM.  Additionally, Ayurveda recommends keeping a regular schedule of eating and sleeping times to keep the body strong.  The body is set to do certain body functions at certain times.  Going off this natural cycle can cause real health issues.  Ayurveda recommends not to eat in the evening because eating in the evening strains digestion which hurts metabolism and can lead to toxic buildup.  The same calories in the evening can cause more harm and weight gain than calories eaten during midday.

Modern medicine is finding the human body's circadian rhythm to be very important in health care.  It is the field of chronobiology where the internal clock mechanism of the body is studied. Doctors are beginning to prescribe prescription drugs for different times of the day to synchronize the effect of the drug with the body's circadian rhythm.  Doctors are also starting to strongly recommend that people honor their circadian rhythms for maintaining their health.  This means keeping a regular schedule for eating and sleeping.  It is really old advice but backed up by new science.

Stay healthy & well,

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