What is the Circadian Rhythm?

Every morning you wake up, go about your day (hopefully with energy…) and then night comes and you drift off to a peaceful, regenerative sleep…Wouldn't that be perfect if it happened that easily every day...

Our bodies operate like a clock, with thousands of functions being switched on and off throughout the day and night. It doesn't stop as we know, or that would be a problem...but there is a rhythm to what happens, when. These are our Circadian Rhythms, and we have been programmed with them from the beginning of time. 

Is there one clock or many clocks?

Each organ and even each cell has its own circadian clock, but we also have a master clock whose job it is to keep it all in sync. This master clock is found in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), located in the hypothalamus, in the brain. It’s a complicated process but essentially what happens is the SCN receives direct input from the eyes. And what is entering the eye…light of course. And what is the best kind of light for our natural bodies…natural light from the sun. It contains the full spectrum of wavelengths, with all the colors in just the right balance to help our bodies function optimally. Not at all like artificial lights which have far too much blue and green light and not at all in harmony with red and orange light. 

This spectral chart shows the difference very clearly between natural light from the sun, and the second diagram is artificial light from electronic devices such as smartphones and TV's.

Natural sun light full spectrum


Artificial blue light

As you can see from this diagram above, the blue light being emitted by these electronic devices is severe and not at all balanced by the other colors of the spectrum. 

How can you optimize your circadian rhythm?

A sign of a healthy, well working circadian rhythm is if you wake up at the same time (without an alarm clock) and feel sleepy at the same time, everyday. This indicates a body that is in rhythm with its environment. 

Here are 5 things to put in to practice that will help you achieve this synchronicity. 

1. Watch the sunrise

The light spectrum of the sunrise is naturally and perfectly balanced to wake us up.

- Go outside and watch the sun rise for 10-15 minutes

- If you can, stare directly at the sun (within 30 mins of it rising) or if you can’t, start at 1 minute and gradually increase a minute a day

2. Watch the sunset

The sunset has a higher proportion of red and yellow light, which is calming to the brain.

- Go outside and watch the sun set

- You should be able to start directly at the sun at this time because the UV is extremely low or non-existent

3. Block blue light at night

Blue light is good for keeping you alert and awake, but that’s not what you need at night-time.

- As soon as the sun sets, wear 100% blocking blue light glasses

- Turn off screens and devices...but this is hard, so wear your glasses and activate night mode on your screens

- Sleep in darkness with all lights off

4. Eat with the clock

When you eat, and what you eat affects what your body needs to do at a particular time. If it's given food, it needs to respond, so if you eat late at night, its focus becomes processing that over sleeping.

- Don’t eat at least 2 hours before bedtime, so you’re not tasking your body with digesting instead of sleeping

- Eat a larger breakfast and lunch, and a smaller dinner, to aid faster digestion before bed

- Best practice is to fast 12 hours between breakfast and dinner to allow your body time to work on repair and regeneration rather than processing food

5. Listen to your body's signals

The hormone that helps with sleep is melatonin and it cycles up and down throughout the day. Its release relies upon darkness, registered through your eyes.

- Around 9pm melatonin is naturally released, and you should feel sleepy - do you yawn around that time every night?

- If you’re exposing yourself to blue light at night, you are disrupting the signal to release melatonin

- Take advantage of this natural sleep inducer and go to bed

How will I feel better with these tips?

By following these 5 tips every day not only you will feel immediate benefits like – improved sleep, better brain function, higher productivity - but longer term, the benefits are profound - protection from chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and neurological conditions from depression to Alzheimer's.

More resources

If you like to listen and learn, you can't miss this amazing podcast with the Wellness Mama, Katie Wells. We discuss how light is important to your health and the ways you can easily optimizing your circadian rhythm. No surprises...it's the points we made above in this article. 
And listen to the Ben Greenfield podcast - Lies we've been led to believe about sunlight. We also discuss eating and your circadian rhythm, and how to achieve optimal mitochondrial health.

For the best in blue light blocking protection

After many years of research and consulting with experts in the fields of photobiology, neuroscience, and optics we developed Ra Optics blue light blocking glasses, the most effective blue light blocking glasses on the market. We can legitimately make this claim because we conduct the tests on each pair to make sure they meet the highest standard of protection needed.
For night, you need 100% and for day you need up to 95% protection. This is why our glasses are infused (not coated) with a proprietary tint - red for night and yellow for day. Clear lenses can't provide this level of protection, especially at night time when you need to block 100% of this harmful artificial light. Only colored lenses can absorb the blue light, making it scientifically impossible for a clear lens to achieve that goal.
If you'd like to read more about our lenses, check out - How blue light glasses work 
Or just want to buy a pair and start experiencing better sleep and more energy...for the perfect fit, check out our frame size chart 
And our collection pages

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