Circadacare logo

Understanding circadian rhythm and the impact of light

The concept of circadian rhythm is fundamental to understanding how our bodies function. It’s a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours. These rhythms are influenced by external cues like light and temperature, which help to align our bodily functions with the day and night cycle.

How light affects our circadian rhythm

Light plays a pivotal role in regulating our circadian rhythms. Exposure to natural light, especially in the morning, signals our brain to wake up and prepares our body for the day. This is primarily driven by the hormone cortisol, which increases in response to light and helps us feel alert.

As the day progresses, our exposure to light, particularly blue light from screens, can have a significant impact on our circadian rhythm. This type of light can suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for making us feel sleepy. This is why looking at screens before bedtime can lead to difficulties in falling asleep.

The benefits of aligning your lifestyle with your circadian rhythm

Aligning our lifestyle with our circadian rhythm has numerous health benefits. It can improve sleep quality, boost mood, increase productivity, and even help in maintaining a healthy weight. Understanding and respecting these natural processes is crucial for overall well-being.

Tips for harmonising with your circadian rhythm

  • Maximise natural light exposure: Try to get plenty of natural light during the day, especially in the morning.
  • Reduce blue light at night: Limit screen time in the evening and consider using blue light filters.
  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Create a restful environment: Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool to promote better sleep.

By respecting our circadian rhythms and understanding the role of light, we can significantly improve our physical and mental health, and improve the quality of life for others through circadian lighting solutions.