Light and dark exposure are not the ONLY ways to influence your circadian rhythm!
There are 2 key hormones that regulate your daily rhythms, and they not only respond to the light-dark cycle but also to the foods we eat and supplements we take.
They are melatonin & cortisol.
The natural and healthy cycle of these hormones goes like this:
☀ In the morning, cortisol rises to make us alert and energized (and melatonin is at its lowest)
🌙 At night, melatonin rises to make is relaxed and sleepy (and cortisol falls to its lowest) Some people who experience circadian disruption also lose this natural rhythm of hormone fluctuations. Maybe their cortisol stays low all day, maybe it rises at night, or maybe their melatonin doesn’t rise high enough. Chronic elevation of cortisol levels from stress, anxiety etc. have been implicated in the development of coronary artery plaques and heart disease. Heart disease originates from inflammation, not cholesterol, and cortisol is a major player implicated in inflammation. High cortisol levels also counteract the actions of insulin promoting insulin resistance and increased storage of body fat.
From that, you get weight gain.
There can be lots of scenarios (that’s why we test!), but the good news is that we can use supplements to support these natural rhythms.
💊 Melatonin can be taken at night to support sleep. From age management research, the dose of melatonin that is most effective for preparing your body for sleep is 16-22mg taken before bedtime. Most people who tell me that melatonin doesn’t work for them are not taking enough. Until you’ve taken 15mg or 20mg of melatonin, you won’t know if it helps you with sleep or not.
💊 Phosphatidylserine can be taken at night to support a healthy cortisol pattern. It can also be taken in the morning to reduce anxiety and manage symptoms from ADHD. Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid and phospholipids are a component of every cell wall in your body. The health benefits of phosphatidylserine are huge. It boosts cognitive function, improves anxiety by decreasing serum cortisol levels, improves weight loss, decreases time for exercise recovery, and increases endurance. Oh, and it also improves sleep. The dose is 800 mg at bedtime.
💊 Adaptogenic herbs (like ginseng and ashwagandha) can be taken during the day to support the daily cortisol rhythm.
In order to have a healthy and balanced circadian rhythm, we need 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Sleep is the first issue considered in my SHINING protocol. If you do not sleep well, you will suffer the consequences the very next day. To dig into the importance of sleep in more detail, consider buying and reading this book by prominent neuroscientist and sleep expert Dr. Mathew Walker:
Please consider this info to be educational rather than prescriptive. If you struggle with energy or sleep and want to support your circadian rhythm, please work with a qualified practitioner. We have collaborative physicians working with us in FL, NY, PA, MA, NH, CA, MT, MO, and IL if you need help and support.
🔗 Follow this link www.healthwithoutrisk.com to work with us!
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