Most life-forms on earth are attuned to rhythm of light and dark created by the Earths daily rotations towards the sun. Circadian rhythms are biological rhythmic oscillations corresponding to this 24-hour cycle. A ‘master clock’ located in the suprachiasmatic region of our brain uses light information for coordinating the body cells’ clocks by controlling the production of melatonin. This ‘master clock’ acts as a conductor of a large orchestra of biological clocks in the brain and body, and the rhythm follows the light/dark cycle in the environment. Put differently,
The circadian rhythm is your body's internal clock that tells you when to wake up and when to sleep.
Good health depends on the internal synchronization of the body clocks in harmony with the daily rhythm of the outside world.
Good health is jeopardized when our circadian rhtyhm is disrupted.
Research findings have revealed that the specialized cells in the eye monitoring the daily rhythm of the outside world are almost exclusively blue light sensitive.
For billions of years this has not been a problem because blue light ceases as the sun sets. Photoreceptors in the eyes stops signalling day to the suprachiasmatic nucleus signifying the beginning of the night. The 'master clock' starts orchestrating night activities. It stops inhibiting the pineal gland from producing melatonin. All is well.
It is only very recently in human history that we have invented ways to extend the day and do away with the night. Overexposure to blue light from electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and television, has extended our days far into our biological nights.
Modern living promotes a lifestyle that disrupts our circadian rhythms.
Most electric lights, televisions, computers and mobile devices contain high-energy visible light within the blue spectrum which effectively disrupts our circadian rhythms. Blue light in the evening signals day to the 'master clock' and prevents it from orchestrating night activities. This has several harmful effects. It:
- Keeps the brain alert and active when the brain and body require night mode.
- Lengthens time it takes to fall asleep
- Delays deep sleep.
- Conflicts with the body's metabolism because when the brain remains in day mode and craves food.
- Promotes desynchronization of cellular clocks because the suprachiasmatic nucleus cannot convey correct night signal which sends the circadian rhythms into disarray.
But most importantly perhaps,
disrupting the circadian rhythm delays and reduces the body's melatonin production.
Melatonin is one of the most powerful sources of antioxidant and helps our body to repair and rejuvenate at the cellular level. Melatonin is associated with rest, homeostasis and repair. Maintaining homeostasis is essential for protecting us against diseases and early aging.
Scientific research clearly demonstrates that melatonin is needed for a number of body functions. Melatonin helps to attune the body cells to the rhythm of the light/dark cycle in the environment and a strong melatonin production has numerous health benefits.
- Promotes sleep
- Is a powerful antioxidant.
- Activates immune cells to fight cancer, infections and inflammation.
- Regulates blood pressure.
- Regulates appetite and body weight.
- Regulates blood sugar and insulin production in the pancreas.
- Regulates body temperature.
- Inhibits the production of gonadal hormones and may counteract early puberty.
There is an emerging concern among scientists that overexposure to blue light plays an important role in the increasing prevalence of insomnia, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
There is need for more research before we can fully understand the consequences of disrupting the circadian rhythms and the effect this has on our health and well-being. However, our current knowledge is sufficient to
urge everyone to be aware of the importance of a sound circadian rhythm.
Chrono Chrome’s virtual darkness eyewear is as a safe and convenient way to maintain your circadian rhythm without giving up the benefits of modern technology.
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