Insomnia, Stress and The Circadian Light Show

Posted on June 8, 2008. Filed under: health, wellbeing | Tags: , , , |

Overview of biological circadian clock in humans. Biological clock affects the daily rhythm of many physiological processes. This diagram depicts the circadian patterns typical of someone who rises early in morning, eats lunch around noon, and sleeps at night (10 p.m.). Although circadian rhythms tend to be synchronized with cycles of light and dark, other factors - such as ambient temperature, meal times, stress and exercise - can influence the timing as well.

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Light is good for you, I’ll restate that: SUNLIGHT IS GOOD FOR YOU

I have spent half my life telling my clients, especially my insomniac clients that they need to have at least 15 minutes of sunlight on their face and forehead at least once a day. For obvious reasons this needs to be before 10am in the morning or after 3pm in the afternoon, however this is one of the surest cures for insomnia and night time stress along with a whole lot of other health challenges.

Sunlight contains the whole spectrum of colours and therefore really the only light on this planet that sets and re-sets our circadian rhythms. As you can see from the quote below this is important. The worst offending lights are fluorescent lights and as good little greenies we have all switched to low energy fluorescents in our bid ro help save the planet. A worthwhile cause, I absolutely agree, but what is it doing to our health?

One idea around this is to install full spectrum fluorescent globes, which are alittle bit expensive, but worth it for you health, and we may see more of these globes being offered now that the research is in. However, please take note and get out into the sun (without sunscreen) every day to boost your Vitamin D levels and set your circadian rhythms.

“Like a wristwatch that needs to be wound daily for accurate time-telling, the human circadian system — the biological cycles that repeat approximately every 24 hours — requires daily light exposure to the eye’s retina to remain synchronized with the solar day. In a new study published in the June issue of Neuroscience Letters, researchers have demonstrated that when it comes to the circadian system, not all light exposure is created equal.

The findings have profound implications for exploring how lighting can be used to adjust our bodies’ clocks, and they could redefine the way lighting is manufactured, according to Mariana Figueiro, lead author of the paper and assistant professor in the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Short-wavelength light, including natural light from the blue sky, is highly effective at stimulating the circadian system. Exposure to other wavelengths — and thus colors — of light may necessitate longer exposure times or require higher exposure levels to be as effective at “winding the watch.”

Nocturnal melatonin, a hormone produced at night and under conditions of darkness, is used as a marker for the circadian clock. Scientific evidence suggests that disruption of the circadian system — and thus the melatonin cycle — may result in increased malignant tumor growth, as well as poor sleep quality, lack of alertness, seasonal depression, and immune deficiencies.” (

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One Response to “Insomnia, Stress and The Circadian Light Show”

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natural supplements are the best to go with at all times no matter the excuses that people can advance to the contrary they remain the best.

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