What is a circadian rhythm and why it is important for us?
Those 24-hour rhythms are navigated by a circadian “pacemaker” (our biological clock), which helps us coordinate our biology and behavior with everyday environmental alterations in the day-night cycle. The circadian clock is located in our brain, more specifically, in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN).
The human sleep cycle is the most eminent circadian rhythm, which, in each one of us, is different in timing. It “feeds” on light and temperature. Therefore, a change in these factors could cause a shift or even disturb the cycle. Other outside factors that impact the circadian rhythm are known as “zeitgebers”. Typical zeitgebers are for instance, the alarm clock, our social interactions and changes to our eating/drinking patterns. Basically, these are the reasons why your colleagues, for instance, might be super active in the morning (early birds), while you could be more of an evening type (night owl).
To sum it all up, circadian rhythms are essential for our wellbeing as their disturbance could lead to different health and sleep problems.
What are the effects of circadian disruptions and what do they lead to?Some studies have shown that health problems are a frequent occurrence as a result of a disorder in our circadian rhythms. Others demonstrated that light directly influences our circadian rhythms, and by that - our overall health.
Working on shifts or experiencing social jet lag bears considerable consequences on the circadian and metabolic events in our bodies.
Long-term disruptions to the circadian rhythm can cause substantial negative health consequences on outlying organs outside the brain – specifically on the development or aggravation of cardiovascular disease.
How AYO can help in regulating our circadian rhythm?The best way to bring our bodies in sync again is to remove the circadian disruptions and control the production of melatonin (the sleep-inducing hormone which reaches its peak during darkness and lowers during the day ). Being aware of the importance of ambient light as well as controlling your exposure to and avoidance of light can help you achieve that.
AYO is a scientifically-backed blue light emitting wearable, which is fully controlled by the goAYO mobile app. AYO gets to know you and your preferences, which is followed by easy-to-follow guidance for maximum efficiency. Wearing AYO for 20-30 minutes per day can help you reset your body clock and regulate it in a matter of several days!
4 additional tips for keeping our circadian rhythms in balance1) The majority of people prefer air-conditioning during the day and warm covers at night. However, warm night temperatures and cold daily temperatures hinder the circadian rhythms. Try to be cool at night and stop that AC during the day if it is not really needed.
2) Avoid inactive lifestyle and training at the wrong time – intensive evening exercising boosts cortisol and overwhelms melatonin, both of which can prevent sleep.
3) Late-night snacks are known to constrain sleep and go counter the circadian rhythms, so try to resist that juicy burger before going to bed. On the other hand, morning breakfasts have been found to improve the circadian rhythms.
4) Try to sidestep from exposure to cellphone, TV or a computer in the bedroom since the blue light emitted by these kinds of devices can mess up our circadian rhythm.