Well… if we are going to get down with the sleep geeks, we first need a good understanding of our Circadian Rhythm.

The Circadian rhythm refers to a natural, internal biological process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and other physiological processes in living organisms, including humans. It is an innate, 24-hour cycle that is synchronised with the earth’s rotation, and is controlled by a complex network of biological clocks that are located in different parts of the body, most notably the brain. The circadian rhythm plays a crucial role in energy regulating hormones, neurotransmitters, metabolism regulating hormones, sleep and rejuvenation, appetite regulating hormones, stress, health and longevity. Disruptions to this cycle have been linked to a range of health problems, including sleep disorders, metabolic disorders, and mental health conditions.

We’ve all heard at some point in our lives to try to get 8 hours of sleep every night, and although this is true, it fails us by only referring to the quantity of sleep and not the quality. 8 hours of sleep is only as good as depth and quality of the sleep during that time, if you don’t tap into deep, rejuvenating sleep you can still wake up tired and depleted the next morning as your cells may not have fully undergone their regenerative processes. So how do we tap into that regenerative magic – understand and master your circadian rhythm, this dictates the quality, depth, quality, and rejuvenation value of your sleep. But it doestn stop there, it affects so much more then this… New research is showing us that our circadian rhythm plays a huge role in our body composition, energy and overall health. In today’s world there are widespread epidemics of insomnia and poor sleep and that most of us are unknowingly living with the effects of a chronically disrupted circadian rhythm, and this disrupted Circadian Rhythm has been linked to a number of unwanted effects on our biology for example, Anxiety, Depression, Chronic fatigue, mood disorders, daytime sleepiness and anhedonia. Any of these sound familiar? (If you need more motivation to make healthier sleep choices – Read my article on the effects of poor sleep!)

In conclusion - We are all linked to the sun. A sentence that almost sounds a little far-fetched in today's world because we've become very disconnected from this fact, but on a biological level, we are all still very much tied to the rise and the fall of the sun and need to acknowledge and understand what this means and that the human body is designed to be alert and awake during daytime hours and to sleep at night. The facts tell us that most of us are not sleeping as long or as deeply as we need in order to rejuvenate the body and recharge our body and brain. 

So what can we do to fix this today? Well there are 2 main causes of a disrupted Circadian rhythm

  1. We are not getting enough of that daytime signal (sun light) into our circadian clock in our brain during the daytime (when we should be getting it)
  2. We are receiving too much daytime signal (screens/blue light) at night which confuses the rhythm. 

Why is it so important to change these disruptions? Well, your entire life experience may be under a fog, so if we want to experience our full awake energy and delete the lingering fatigue, we have to respect the rhythm. Sleep and energy are intertwined by this same rhythm. You have a choice to either wake up with an abundance of energy after a deep restful sleep, or… you can choose to check your emails/messages on your phone late at night and suffer the consequences of foggier days and lingering fatigue. A seemingly small habit with life depleting effects.

If you want to dig deeper and learn more about how a disrupted circadian rhythm, and thus poor sleep translates into fatigue on a molecular level, let’s get personal with your extraordinary power banks – The Mighty Mitochondria!