Energy Focus Blog
What is Circadian Wellness?
Every individual has unique physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle called circadian rhythm. Circadian wellness describes how well tuned your body’s biological clock (or circadian rhythm) is to the 24-hour sleeping and waking cycle. Since light is a major driver of circadian rhythm (i.e. sleeping at night and being awake during the day), it is paramount to control lighting conditions in order to protect an individual’s circadian wellness.
Chronobiologists have found that circadian rhythms are found in most living things, including animals, plants, and many tiny microbes.
6% of adults experience severe season affective disorder (SAD), while another 14% of adults are inflicted by the “winter blues." Research suggests that as little as 30 minutes of light therapy using light that mimics the color temperatures of daylight remedied up to 85% of those affected.
What Causes Issues with Circadian Wellness?
Do you frequently wake up feeling groggy? Conversely, are you unable to fall asleep and stay asleep? Issues surrounding sleep are often a strong indicator that an individual’s circadian wellness needs improvement. One way light acts as a driver of circadian rhythm is to indicate to your body when and how much melatonin to produce. Light, especially light mimicking daylight conditions, causes your body to make less melatonin, while darkness increases melatonin production. Melatonin helps your body fall asleep and stay asleep . So if an individual is living in an environment with insufficient lighting conditions, their melatonin production and circadian rhythm can be thrown off balance.
Other circumstances that affect melatonin production and that disrupt circadian wellness include:
- Jet lag
- Sleep schedule changes
- Poor sleep environments (i.e. too noisy or too bright)
- Drug and Alcohol Use
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