Biorhythm cycles are the internal “biological clocks” that dictate how your body functions and when. These cycles are an integral part of your everyday life but most people don’t give them much thought. They cause physical, emotional, and intellectual fluctuations.
They’re hard-wired into you from birth. Some are linked to greater external forces such as the path of the sun or seasons of the year. Even changing tides, outside temperature, and moon phases can affect human biology.
Researchers are beginning to realize that calculating a person’s biorhythm cycles may offer insight on mental and physical health.
For thousands of years, there have been stories of individuals who seem to become aggressive during excessively hot temperatures, depressed during long periods of rain or clouds, and exhibit intense confusion or chaos during full moons.
It turns out, these weren’t myths!
The Rhythms That Make Your Body Dance
- Ultradian rhythms are cycles that last less than 24 hours. Examples of these are your heartbeat, breathing, temperature, appetite, the process of digestion, and hormone release. These processes proceed without thinking about them, no matter the time of day, and independent of anything else you’re doing.
- Circadian rhythms are cycles that last about 24 hours. Your sleep cycle (the one you’re supposed to have) is based on circadian rhythms. There are also hormone and temperature “settings” that follow this cycle.
- Infradian rhythms are last longer than a single day. The female menstruation process and desire to procreate are prime examples. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – depression that occurs most commonly in cloudy winter months – is also based on infradian rhythms.
Literally everything your body does (whether you’re conscious of it or not) is based on these biorhythm cycles. Multiple studies have concluded that disruption of these rhythms can have a clear (negative) effect on current and long-term health.Did you know that literally everything you do is based on these biorhythm cycles? #ImportanceOfSleep #BiorhythmCycleClick To Tweet
I’ve talked in-depth about the importance of sleep because not getting enough (or not getting quality sleep) substantially raises your risk of systemic inflammation, heart disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, obesity, diabetes, mental health disorders, autoimmune conditions, and more. Not to mention a higher risk of colds, viruses, and infections.
Your body is meant to operate a specific way. From your first breath outside the womb until your last, these biorhythm cycles are keeping the beat inside you.
Modern Life is Interrupting the Rhythm
The development of technology – transportation, electricity, running water, phones, etcetera – enabled humans to do things at night they rarely could before. It gave people the ability to remain in contact, to get from place to place more quickly, to continue working after dark, and even to bathe without the necessity of hauling water.
Our evolving quality of life didn’t come without cost. Our biological clocks have taken the biggest impact, particularly in the lifestyles we lead today.
The chemicals that flood our bodies, the non-stop connection to the outside world, and even our work habits have combined to “overwrite” these critical biorhythm cycles.
A vast majority of us are continuously sleep-deficient. We’re constantly exposed to the dangers of blue light in the form of televisions, computers, cell phones, and tablets. There are lifestyle habits in the form of food, alcohol, tobacco, and sun exposure that damage our bodies one cell at a time and flood us with chemical toxins.A vast majority of us are continuously sleep-deficient. This has a lot to do with our modern lifestyle habits.Click To Tweet
If you’ve ever worked a night shift or experienced jet lag, you felt the physical consequences of your biological clock being disrupted. The mental sluggishness, fatigue, and even nausea are your biorhythms trying to catch up, to adapt.
There are no easy solutions since the pressures of daily life demand you bend to external forces (they rarely bend to what you need). There may not be a cure for the daily grind that wears down your internal rhythms but there are some things you can do ease the side effects.
3 Tips to Protect Your Biological Clock
- Create a sleep friendly environment. No matter what time of day you have to sleep, make sure your room is dark and cool. Leave the electronics alone! It’s critical to get yourself to a place where your body expects to sleep, wants to sleep, and does so deeply. Sleep quality is just as important as sleep amount. Try using melatonin (inexpensive, safe, and readily available) for a week to adjust to a new time zone or sleep routine.
- Take time out to breathe and meditate. Whether this is before work, during work, or right before you go to bed, you need to give your brain and body a few minutes to acclimate. During your work day, when you have breaks, consider taking a short walk with your cup of coffee. Stand up and look at something outside the window while you eat. Stretch and focus on your breathing if you enter a period of high stress. Listen to your body!
- Be cautious about what you consume. This should be the easiest step but, for so many, it seems to be the hardest. Pro-inflammatory foods that contain unhealthy fats, high sugars, or lots of chemicals don’t help any part of your body to function properly. Many foods (soda, for example) offer no nutritional value and make it hard for your body to absorb nutrients from other foods. Avoid eating right before bed and limit (or eliminate) stimulants (sugar, caffeine, tobacco) throughout your day.
Making a few small changes (and sticking to them) will slow down the aging process, strengthen your immune system, and protect you from disease later in life.
Your biorhythm cycles work to keep you on a steady routine – the one your cells actually need. Helping them do their job is good for your health today and in the future.Your biorhythm cycles work to keep you on a steady routine – the one your cells actually need. #BiorhythmCyclesClick To Tweet