Dependable Light Cycles

Create Your SLEEP Rhythm

Each 24-hour day,

light in the environment

tells your brain the time.

Your circadian rhythm
determines the quality of your sleep.

Q: What is the “circadian rhythm?”

Answer: Your body keeping its own time, using its own internal clock mechanisms.

Your body’s internal clock system synchronizes itself to the world via several environmental signals.

Light cycles
primarily determine the quality of your circadian rhythm.

With few exceptions, all life developed “under bright days and dark nights” (source).

Melatonin is not unique to humans.  It’s not unique to mammals. It’s in amphibians, birds, reptiles, cockroaches, insects, spiders, unicellular organisms, bacteria, plants – every plant that has been studied contains melatonin.  Every organism contains melatonin

Russel Reiter, PhD

These environmental signals (brightness & darkness) synchronize your body’s circadian clock.

More than any other variable, light drives your body clock.

— Much more than exercise, much more than the diet.

While your skin does have photoreceptors that sense environmental light — the eyes have 100x more photoreceptors than skin.

The eyes are the windows to the circadian soul.

The light in your environment — along with only a few other factors — holds the keys to mastery of your circadian rhythm.

Those other variables include:
  • nutrition
  • clean air & healthy buildings
  • a calm mind
  • exercise
  • meal timing
  • gut health

but light is circadian royalty. Nothing else, by itself, comes close.

Light, the Most Important

Zeitgeber

“time giver”

Environmental stimuli signaling the progression of time are known as zeitgeber, a German word meaning “time giver,” and include light as the most prominent signal, as well as others, such as patterns of exercise,[14] food consumption,[15] social activity, and more.

https://journals.lww.com/cmj/Fulltext/2021/03200/Light_therapy__a_new_option_for_neurodegenerative.2.aspx

The most important zeitgeber (from German, something that “gives time”) reaching the SCN is ambient light in the environment. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6751071/

Light during the day and darkness at night are crucial factors for proper entrainment of the human circadian system to the solar 24-h day.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28637029/

Mastering

Your Healthy Melatonin Cycle

Melatonin is the hormone of sleep. It rises, you sleep. It falls, you are alert.

  • Melatonin has all sorts of benefits: it’s anti-cancer, it promotes immunity, it’s anti-inflammatory, and protects the gut microbiome from pathogens.

In the modern world, melatonin cycles tend to be weak — and failing.

To promote sleep — and promote other benefits — melatonin must rise high in the evening and stay high all night.

But it’s not as simple as taking melatonin supplements.

No, in order to rise high at night, melatonin must be low all day.

It’s a cycle — without one, you can’t have the other.

Low Melatonin

(Daytime)

Drops in the Morning

Low all day

Melatonin crashes in the morning — allowing you to wake up — releasing you from the powerful grip of drowsiness.

If melatonin stays high, you’ll keep sleeping, feel sluggish & groggy, and have trouble getting going.

High Melatonin

(Night)

Melatonin — Rises after Dark

High all night

Melatonin rises at nighttime, just before bed — forcing your body into both 1) wanting sleep, and 2) easily falling asleep.

Chronic disruptions of circadian rhythm may have the potential to seriously affect human health.

For instance, decrease of melatonin levels plays an important role in development of chronic diseases and conditions such as cancer 6180818283, cardiovascular diseases 83, reproduction 84, endometriosis 84, gastrointestinal and digestive problems 85, diabetes 8687, obesity 88, depression 89, sleep deprivation 90, bipolar spectrum disorders 91, and cognitive impairment 92

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7065627/
How We Tell Solar Time

The body’s clock keeps time on its own, but it’s always receiving clues — from the environment — about the time of day.

Solar Time’

is Healthy Time

The sun sets the standard.

There is a time, each day, called “solar noon.” This is when the sun is the highest in the sky, at any given location.

My smartphone shows solar time: sunrise, sunset, and where the sun is in the sky.
  • Sunrise is when “daytime” begins
  • Sunset is when “nighttime” begins

Research has confirmed — again and again — that a healthy circadian rhythm is one that aligns closely to natural sunlight cycles.

When the sun is up, it’s important that your eyes (and skin) see bright light.

And when the sun is down, it’s important that your eyes (and skin) see darkness.

A healthy melatonin cycle should align perfectly with natural sunlight cycles: when the sun is up –> melatonin is down.

Sunrise and sunset change throughout the season, but your solar noon remains largely constant all year (although the ‘time change’ moves it by one hour).

The further our body’s cycle gets away from “solar time,” the worse the outcomes for our health.

How do we become out of sync with solar time?

  • Sleeping in: Missing critical hours of sunlight each morning
  • Bright light at night
  • Staying indoors all day
  • Staying up light

Staying in sync with solar time is an important foundation of longevity — it’s a methodology that is essential to maintaining proper melatonin levels: low in daytime, high at night.

Three types of light keep melatonin levels optimally healthy.

  • Morning sunlight
  • Bright daylight
  • Reducing blue light at night

Let’s dive into the mystery and magic of light. Learn to master this most important circadian muse.

~ 1 ~

Your Melatonin Cycle?

Begins Early

Enjoy the direct benefits of morning light.

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