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08/Apr/2024

Our bodies operate on an internal clock that regulates various physiological processes across a 24-hour cycle, influencing everything from our sleep patterns to the way we metabolize food. This internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, is crucial to our overall health and wellbeing.

In this in-depth exploration, we will uncover the scientific insights on how circadian rhythms affect both our physical and mental health. Whether you’re a health aficionado, a wellness constructor, or simply a lover of science, this narrative around the hidden power of your body’s clock will inform, intrigue, and possibly transform your daily routine.

The Blueprint of a Circadian Rhythm

Circadian Rhythms Unveiled

The word “circadian” comes from the Latin words “circa” (around) and “diem” (day), indicating that these are rhythms that follow a roughly 24-hour day-night cycle. They are endogenously generated, but are affected by external cues, most notably light and darkness.

The Body’s Internal Clockwork

Circadian rhythms are more than just timers; they are a fundamental element woven into the fabric of our existence, directing the ebb and flow of multiple body functions throughout the day. The suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus is the hub for this internal clock, which orchestrates a complex symphony of hormone releases, body temperatures, and cellular activities.

See a video featuring Dr. Sachin Panda PhD on how the circadian affects our metabolic health

The Sleep-Health Connection

Navigating The Sleep-Wake Cycle

The circadian clock is intricately linked to the sleep-wake cycle, and the hormone melatonin is the conductor of this symphony. Melatonin levels typically increase in the late afternoon and peak in the early hours of the morning, preparing the body for sleep. Conversely, cortisol, the so-called stress hormone, peaks in the morning, awakening the body and getting it ready for the day.

The Significance of Sleep Consistency

Irregular sleep patterns can disrupt the circadian system, leading to issues like insomnia, sleep apnea, or even sleep phase disorders. These interruptions not only impact sleep quantity but also the quality of our rest, which is arguably the foundation of good health.

Impact on Physical Well-being

Balancing The Metabolic Scales

Circadian rhythms are essential for metabolic function, influencing the peaks and troughs of hunger, the breakdown of nutrients, and the regulation of glucose levels. Disruptions to these rhythms can lead to an increased risk of metabolic disorders, weight gain, and even obesity.

The Immune System Dance

The time-keeping system of the body also holds sway over the immune system, regulating the release of immune cells at the most effective times. When we are not in sync with our internal clock, our immune defences may operate at suboptimal levels, leading to greater susceptibility to infections and inflammatory conditions.

Influence on Mental Health and Cognition

Dawn and Dusk of Mood Disorders

Circadian disruptions have been strongly associated with mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder. The causality may be bi-directional; mental health influences circadian rhythms, and vice versa. When these rhythms go awry, it often leads to disturbances in the hormone balance and neural networks that are critical to mood stabilization.

Cognitive Harmony

Circadian rhythms also impact cognitive function and our ability to concentrate, reason, and recall information. It’s no wonder that instances of cognitive impairment are often linked to individuals who work against their natural sleep-wake patterns.

Aligning with Your Body’s Clock

The Art of Circadian Synchronization

Incorporating circadian-awareness into your daily routine can yield profound benefits to your health. This involves understanding your body’s natural energy peaks and planning high-focus work or exercise during these times, and restful activities during your internal lull periods.

The Sleep Sanctuary Creation

Creating a sleep sanctuary that resonates with the circadian system can significantly improve sleep quality. This includes dimming the lights and reducing screen time before bed, keeping the sleeping environment cool and dark, and establishing consistent sleep and wake times.

Navigating Modern Lifestyle Challenges

The Modern Dilemma of Disrupted Rhythms

Our modern way of life can significantly disrupt the natural circadian rhythms. The scourge of evening screen time, late-night work shifts, and even intercontinental travel can throw our internal clock for a loop, leading to a range of health problems.

Strategies for Resetting

If you find that your circadian rhythms are out of sync, there are strategies you can use to help readjust your body’s clock. These include exposure to bright light in the morning, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and employing relaxation techniques in the evening.

Conclusion: A Harmonious Life with Circadian Rhythms

Our understanding of circadian rhythms is continually evolving, but what remains clear is their central role in maintaining health and fostering well-being. By respecting and aligning our lifestyles with these natural cycles, we stand to gain a treasure trove of benefits that extend far beyond the boundaries of our internal clock.

The science speaks for itself. It’s time to listen to our bodies’ whispers and work with, not against, our circadian rhythms. Whether it’s ensuring restful sleep, fine-tuning our metabolisms, guarding our mental fortitude, or honing our daily existence for maximum health, the circadian rhythm is a symphony worth fostering.

Now is your chance to make deliberate choices that honour your circadian system. It might just be the life rhythm that outlasts the test of time.

Learn about “BodyCloc” a supplement that I helped developed designed to work with your Circadian Rhythm


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04/Mar/2024

In the never-ending quest for more effective mental health treatments, a centuries-old compound is re-emerging with potential to revolutionize the field. Psilocybin—known for its presence in “magic mushrooms”—is at the heart of a new wave of psychotherapy, proving to be an intriguing addition to the toolkit of psychiatrists and mental health professionals. This blog post will explore the advancements in assisted psilocybin psychotherapy, shedding light on its potential, current state, and future trajectory.

Understanding Psilocybin Psychotherapy

Unlocking the Substance

Initially introduced to the masses by indigenous cultures, psilocybin is a naturally occurring compound found in certain mushrooms. It became widely known in the West during the counterculture movement of the 1960s, only to be banned in many countries following stricter categorization of substances. Despite this, research persisted underground and in more permissive regions.

Delving into the Psychedelic Experience

When correctly administered in a controlled environment, psilocybin produces powerful psychological effects, including a profoundly altered state of consciousness. This experience, often described as “psychedelic,” can involve euphoria, introspective insights, and a sense of interconnectedness with the universe. In the context of therapy, this altered state is approached with intention, guiding patients through a process of self-reflection and emotional healing.

Benefits of Assisted Psilocybin Therapy

Mental Health Improvements

Research indicates that psilocybin therapy has the potential to significantly alleviate symptoms in various mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. The therapy’s effects are reported to be enduring, with some studies showcasing a single dose’s ability to induce a lasting positive shift in mood and outlook.

Treatment-Resistant Conditions

One of the most promising aspects of psilocybin therapy is its ability to aid individuals who are resistant to traditional treatment. In the realm of depression, where conventional approaches can fail a significant portion of patients, psilocybin might provide a much-needed alternative path toward healing.

Holistic Healing Approach

Assisted psilocybin therapy is more than just a psychological experience; it’s frequently described as a spiritually significant event. Its holistic approach addresses the interconnected nature of mental, emotional, and sometimes even physical well-being, leading to a more comprehensive healing process.

Current Research and Studies

Groundbreaking Discoveries

Recent studies on psilocybin therapy have provided compelling evidence of its effectiveness. For instance, a landmark study at Imperial College London revealed that patients with treatment-resistant depression experienced substantial reductions in depressive symptoms after two doses of psilocybin. Other research explores its potential for smoking cessation and even end-of-life anxiety in terminally ill patients.

Clinical Trials and Methodologies

To legitimize its medical application, psilocybin therapy is undergoing rigorous clinical trials. These trials employ a blend of traditional psychological support alongside carefully structured doses of psilocybin, ensuring the patients’ safety and maximizing the therapeutic experience.

Challenges and Considerations

Legal and Ethical Hurdles

Despite growing evidence of its benefits, psilocybin’s societal and legal status presents significant barriers. Its current classification as a Schedule I substance in the United States, for example, places tight restrictions on its use and research. There are also ethical considerations surrounding its use in therapy and accessibility to patients in need.

Integration into Mainstream Healthcare

For psilocybin therapy to reach its full potential, it must find acceptance within mainstream healthcare systems. This involves not only changing legal frameworks but also navigating the cautious medical landscape wary of its past associations with recreational use.

Future Outlook

Potential Impact on Mental Health Treatment

Should psilocybin therapy continue to demonstrate positive outcomes, it has the potential to reshape mental health treatment paradigms. Its possible use alongside, or in place of, traditional psychiatric medications is a promising avenue, offering a different approach for people who do not respond to conventional treatments.

Opportunities for Further Research and Development

The future of psilocybin therapy lies in extensive further research, exploring dosing regimens, the optimal therapeutic settings, and the full scope of its potential applications. Additionally, there’s room for the development of supportive technologies and treatment protocols addressing patients’ post-therapy integration and aftercare.

Conclusion

The recent advancements in assisted psilocybin psychotherapy mark a pivotal moment in the evolution of mental health care. While it faces significant hurdles, the accumulating evidence of its therapeutic capabilities, combined with the growing cultural openness to alternative healing modalities, suggests a bright future. The potential to uplift countless individuals from the trenches of mental health struggles underscores the importance of continuing the conversation and research around this potentially game-changing form of therapy. With the right support and approach, psilocybin therapy could stand as a beacon of hope for those in need of relief from the burdens of the mind.

For ongoing clinical trials and an in-depth look at psilocybin assisted therapy check out the work being done at Compass Pathways

Here are a few centres offering psilocybin assisted therapy:

Empire Psychotherapy 
Numinus
Dr. Erica Zelfand N.D.

Check out my article on Psilocybin and the Default Mode Network Click Here


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06/Nov/2023

In the wake of the pandemic, many of us find ourselves living in unprecedented times that have altered our daily routines and disrupted our sense of normalcy. With the pandemic came educational uncertainties, financial insecurity, and health issues, among other things. It’s safe to say we are all feeling an unbearable amount of stress, especially with the current situation in the middle east. But don’t worry, stress is entirely normal—even healthy—it’s how we react to it that matters. Today, we’re going to discuss some proven ways to manage physical, mental, and emotional stress.

Supplements for Rock Climbing

Exercise Regularly

Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, neurotransmitters in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. These are often referred to as ‘feel-good’ hormones because they can induce feelings of happiness and relaxation. Additionally, regular exercise improves your overall mood and serves as a natural way to manage anxiety and depression.

Physical activity also influences the body’s stress response system. It reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Regular exercise increases the production of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), especially in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays a crucial role in stress regulation.

Moreover, exercising regularly helps to improve sleep quality, enhance self-confidence, and increase relaxation, all of which are beneficial in managing stress levels.

Evaluating Different Types of Exercise

From aerobic exercises like running and cycling to resistance training like weight lifting, and calming practices like yoga and tai chi, different forms of exercise have been found to provide stress-relieving benefits. While high-intensity workouts may help to rapidly reduce stress hormones, low-intensity activities such as walking or stretching can also be effective, particularly for those new to exercise or with physical disabilities.

Frequency and Duration of Exercise

While any amount of exercise is better than none, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week for optimal health benefits. Consistency is key; it’s better to exercise regularly throughout the week than to condense all activity into one or two days.

Positive impacts on stress levels can be noticed within just five minutes of aerobic exercise. However, the reduction in anxiety and improvement in mood may be most noticeable about an hour after exercising, often referred to as the ‘exercise afterglow’.

Practical Advice

The key to reaping the stress-reducing benefits of exercise is to make it a part of your daily routine. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start small: If you’re new to exercise, start with just a few minutes each day and gradually increase the duration as your fitness level improves.
  • Choose activities you enjoy: You’re more likely to stick to an exercise routine if you love what you’re doing. Whether it’s dancing, hiking, or practicing yoga, choose something that makes you happy.
  • Mix it up: Varying your workouts can prevent boredom and keep you motivated. Try combining cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises throughout the week.
  • Make it social: Exercising with a friend or group can make the activity more enjoyable and provide a sense of community and support.
  • Listen to your body: Rest when you need to and adjust your workout plan to fit your needs and capabilities.

Light Therapy

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that involves focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment.

Mindfulness is all about being fully engaged in the here and now. It’s about paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judging them as good or bad. When you practice mindfulness, you’re not trying to achieve a certain state or feeling. Instead, you’re simply observing and accepting what is happening in the present moment.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Research indicates that practicing mindfulness regularly can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also improve sleep, increase focus and concentration, and enhance overall well-being. Physically, mindfulness can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Your 10-Minute Daily Mindfulness Protocol

1. Find a Quiet Space: Choose a spot where you won’t be disturbed for the next 10 minutes.

2. Sit Comfortably: You can sit on a chair or cushion on the floor, keeping your back straight but relaxed. Rest your hands on your lap.

3. Close Your Eyes: This can help limit visual distractions and make it easier to focus.

4. Focus on Your Breath: Pay attention to the sensation of your breath coming in and going out. Notice how your chest rises and falls, and how the air feels as it enters and leaves your nostrils.

5. Observe Your Thoughts: If your mind starts to wander, that’s okay. That’s just what minds do. Simply notice that your mind has wandered, without judgment or frustration, and gently bring your attention back to your breath.

6. End Your Session: After 10 minutes, slowly open your eyes and take a moment to notice how you feel before getting up.

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Your Daily Routine

Mindfulness isn’t just for meditation – you can practice it throughout your day:

  • Mindful Eating: Pay attention to the taste, texture, and smell of your food. Notice how it feels as you chew and swallow.
  • Mindful Walking: Focus on the sensation of your feet touching the ground, the rhythm of your steps, and the feeling of the air against your skin.
  • Mindful Breathing: Take a few moments throughout your day to focus solely on your breath.

Further Resources

To deepen your understanding of mindfulness, consider these resources:

  • Books: “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn, “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh.
  • Apps: Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer offer guided meditations and mindfulness exercises.
  • Courses: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program is an eight-week course that’s highly recognized in the field of mindfulness.

Remember, the key to mindfulness is regular practice. It might feel strange or difficult at first, but with time, you’ll start to experience the benefits. Happy practicing!

Reach Out to Friends and Family

Studies reveal that social support can significantly decrease stress hormones and inflammation in the body, and lower blood pressure and heart rate. Frequent communication with loved ones can help reduce any isolation or loneliness, bring an outside, and provide a much-needed emotional support system. Social support can aid recovery from stress, particularly emotional stress.

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Eating Healthy

Proper diet and nutrition play a crucial role in maintaining mental health, and they can significantly help in reducing and preventing common mental health issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety. A balanced diet rich in certain nutrients can aid in maintaining a healthy mind and body.

Some of the key nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, which are known for their brain-boosting properties. B vitamins, particularly B12 and folate, are essential for brain function and can be found in foods like eggs, meat, leafy greens, and beans. Complex carbohydrates, found in whole grains and vegetables, can help regulate blood sugar and mood. Also, proteins rich in amino acid tryptophan, such as turkey, eggs, and cheese, support the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that aids in maintaining mood balance.

On the other hand, foods and drinks high in processed sugars, caffeine, and alcohol should be avoided as they can spike blood sugar levels and may exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress.

The Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, has been associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. This diet emphasizes the consumption of nutrient-dense, whole foods that provide steady energy and a wide range of nutrients, supporting overall brain health.

Research indicates a strong correlation between diet and mental health. For instance, a study published in the “American Journal of Psychiatry” found that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean protein, and fish was associated with a reduced risk of depression.

In addition to a balanced diet, lifestyle changes such as regular physical activity, adequate sleep, and mindfulness practices can further enhance mental health. Remember, professional help is crucial when dealing with mental health issues, and dietary changes should complement, not replace, professional treatment.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is not only a basic need but also a vital component for maintaining good mental health. It acts as a natural stress-reliever and plays a crucial role in reducing anxiety, depression, and stress levels.

When we sleep, our bodies enter a state of restoration where they repair muscles, consolidate memories, and release hormones that regulate growth and appetite. This restorative process directly affects our mood, cognitive function, and overall mental health.

Scientifically, sleep deprivation can lead to hormonal imbalances that affect both our minds and bodies. Lack of sleep disrupts the balance of key hormones, including cortisol, serotonin, and dopamine, all of which play significant roles in regulating mood. For instance, increased cortisol levels can lead to heightened stress, while imbalances in serotonin and dopamine can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety.

Sleep is divided into several stages, including REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM stages. During these stages, particularly REM sleep, our brains are active and working on repairing brain cells, consolidating memories, and regulating mood. Disruptions in these sleep stages can lead to mood disorders and impaired cognitive function.

To harness the benefits of sleep for mental health, it’s important to implement healthy sleep habits. Establish a consistent sleep schedule, aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Reduce screen time before bed as the blue light emitted by screens can interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Make your sleep environment comfortable, quiet, and dark to promote better sleep quality.

For more Naturopathic tips on establishing healthy sleep Click Here

Conclusion:

Everyone experiences stress in their daily life, but it’s essential to learn how to cope with it effectively when it seems to become overwhelming. This doesn’t mean you should avoid stress entirely, but instead, focus on creating strategies to manage the negative effects it has on your physical, emotional, and mental health. The above-listed techniques can drastically improve your overall wellbeing in stressful times. Remember, managing stress is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Experiment with different methods and see what works best for you. Whatever steps you take, remember to prioritize your wellbeing and give yourself the time and space needed to take care of yourself.


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04/Feb/2023

Over the past few years, there has been a lot of buzz around psilocybin, a psychedelic compound found in some types of mushrooms. Although the use of psychedelic mushrooms may be most often associated with recreational use, researchers are now starting to see the potential for therapeutic benefits. New studies have revealed that psilocybin can have a profound effect on our brains by altering the activity of something called the “default mode network.” Let’s take a closer look at how this works.

What Is The Default Mode Network?

The default mode network (DMN) is a set of brain regions that are active when we’re not actively engaged in any task or conversation. It’s responsible for helping us think about ourselves and our place in the world, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as our “internal dialogue.” It’s also important for forming memories and making decisions.

How Does Psilocybin Affect The DMN?

Recent research has found that psilocybin can significantly alter activity in the Default Mode Network (DMN), offering potential therapeutic benefits for a variety of conditions. In a study conducted at Imperial College London, researchers administered psilocybin to participants before having them complete cognitive tests. They found that those who had taken psilocybin showed improved performance on tasks related to creativity, problem-solving, and decision-making compared to those who had not taken it. This suggested that psilocybin could be useful for improving cognition and potentially even treating certain mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
In support of these findings, a subsequent study conducted by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine uncovered similar results after they administered psilocybin to healthy volunteers. Participants were asked to complete a range of cognitive tasks designed to measure their memory, concentration, and attention span, before and after taking the drug. They found that those who took the psilocybin showed better performance across all three measures compared with their pre-ingestion baseline results.
Another recent study from the University of Zurich examined how different doses of psilocybin affect brain connectivity in people with depression. They used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanning to monitor changes in brain activity associated with taking different doses of the drug. The researchers discovered that higher doses correlated with reduced connections between regions within the DMN, a key network involved in depression. Lower doses led to increased connectivity between regions outside the DMN. This suggests that taking different amounts of psilocybin could bring about varying effects on mood regulation and emotion processing depending on individual needs and current state of mental health.

The Effects Of Long-Term Use

The potential long term outcomes of augmenting the default mode network via use of psychedelics are numerous and varied. Perhaps most notably, research into this area suggests that regular and repeated use of psychedelics may result in improved cognitive functioning as well as higher levels of creativity. In particular, studies suggest that individuals who utilize psychedelics on a regular basis display improved attentional capacity, greater cognitive flexibility, increased working memory, enhanced insightfulness, and even improved mood regulation. Psychedelic-induced neuroplasticity has been linked to a variety of positive psychological changes including increased openness to experience, greater sense of well-being, and improved self-efficacy.
Moreover, recent studies have also suggested that long term use of psychedelics may confer protective effects against certain mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. In particular, research has indicated that regular users possess elevated levels of serotonin receptor binding and fewer signs of depression than those without prior exposure to psychedelic substances. Similarly, individuals who regularly engage with psychedelics also show reduced rates of anxiety due to the drug’s ability to induce feelings of safety and security.
Additionally, scientists have theorized that sustained use may potentially lead to more lasting structural changes within the brain such as altered neuronal connections or increases in dendritic spine density. These changes could further reduce vulnerability to mental health issues over time.
Overall then it appears that the potential long term outcomes of augmenting the default mode network via use of psychedelics are highly promising; not only do they promise improvements in various aspects related to cognition but they also appear to confer neuroprotective benefits which could help ameliorate various mental health disorders over time. It must be noted, however, that much more research needs to be done in this area before any definitive conclusions can be drawn regarding these potential long term impacts.

Conclusion

The research between psilocybin and the Default Mode Network is providing strong evidence that psilocybin has a significant potential to be used as an effective treatment for mental health and neuroplasticity. The connectivity of the DMN to areas of the brain related to emotional processing, memory, and self-referential thought suggest that psilocybin could lead to more positive outcomes in areas mental health and neuroplasticity.
Additionally, studies have shown that psilocybin can decrease activity in the DMN, leading to potentially decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety. Many researchers are now beginning to look into how this form of treatment might be integrated into traditional psychotherapeutic approaches. With all these promising findings, it’s likely that more research will continue on this topic with even more promising outcomes related to mental health neuroplasticity.

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04/Jan/2023

Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling groggy and exhausted? That’s because our bodies naturally respond to light. In fact, bright light upon waking is essential for maintaining a healthy sleep cycle—not just for one day, but for days, weeks, and even months. In this blog post, we’ll explore why bright light upon waking is so important and how it can help improve your health and well-being.

What Is a Sleep Cycle?

A sleep cycle is the process by which our bodies move through different stages of wakefulness and sleep throughout the night. It’s made up of two main phases: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. During NREM sleep, our bodies are getting ready for REM sleep, which is when we dream. Each night, we usually go through 4–5 cycles of REM and NREM sleep that last about 90 minutes each.

The Role of Light in Our Sleep Cycles

Light plays an essential role in regulating our circadian rhythm—our body’s natural internal clock that tells us when to be awake or asleep. When it gets dark outside, a hormone called melatonin is released into our systems to help us fall asleep. When it gets light out again, another hormone called cortisol signals to us that it’s time to wake up and get going. Without adequate exposure to bright light upon waking, our circadian rhythms can become disrupted—which could lead to poor quality of sleep over time as well as other negative health effects such as fatigue, irritability, depression or anxiety.

Benefits of Bright Light Upon Waking

Exposing ourselves to bright light first thing in the morning helps reset our internal clocks so that we can stay awake during the day and fall asleep at night more easily. This means we can get better quality rest overall! Additionally, exposing ourselves to bright light in the morning may also provide cognitive benefits like increased alertness and improved concentration throughout the day.

How much light is optimal?

A recent study published in Sleep Science and Practice found that exposing participants to bright light of at least 2500 lux for 30 minutes after waking triggered the highest cortisol response. This study also revealed that dim lighting of less than 500 lux did not produce a significant change in cortisol levels, meaning that it was not sufficient for resetting the circadian rhythm.
Another study conducted by researchers at the University of Oregon determined that conflicting with the body’s natural expectations can have serious consequences; exposure to bright light of more than 5000 lux after waking up in the morning disrupted cortisol rhythms, leading to an increase in stress hormones and a decrease in alertness and productivity. The optimal level of light exposure after waking appears to be between 2000-3000 lux, as this amount is both beneficial for circadian rhythm health and does not induce a stress response.
An experiment performed at Northwestern University found that exposure to bright light between 2000-2500 lux resulted in greater alertness and improved performance on cognitive tests as compared to regular office lighting levels. Thus, we can conclude that exposing oneself to bright light between 2000-3000 lux within thirty minutes of waking is likely most beneficial for resetting our circadian rhythms, improving alertness and productivity, reducing stress, and promoting overall wellbeing.

What is the best light source?

The optimal light source to be exposed to upon waking is one that mimics natural sunlight. By exposing yourself to a full-spectrum light therapy, ideally within the first hour of waking, your body will be more likely to respond positively. This type of light therapy helps regulate the body’s production of melatonin and cortisol.
The most effective type of full-spectrum light therapy involves artificial lights that mimic natural daylight and provide a bright white light similar in color temperature to the midday sun. For example, LED bulbs that have a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) are ideal for providing a balanced spectrum of light. Additionally, adjustable lamps can provide an even greater degree of control over brightness levels by allowing users to adjust the intensity according to their own preferences.

Conclusion

Bright light upon waking has been shown to improve both physical health (by helping regulate our circadian rhythm) as well as mental health (by boosting alertness). So if you want to feel more energized during the day and get better quality rest at night, make sure you give yourself some extra exposure to bright light first thing in the morning! Even if it’s only for a few minutes each day—it could make all the difference in terms of improving your overall health and well-being!

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13/Dec/2022

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that helps our body absorb calcium, promote healthy bones and teeth, and regulate our immune system. It’s often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because our body creates it when we’re exposed to sunlight. But many people have difficulty getting enough vitamin D from exposure to the sun alone, especially in winter. Therefore for some of us it is necessary to take a vitamin D supplement to achieve optimal levels.
So what are the main benefits of vitamin D? Let’s take a look at 10 top benefits of this important nutrient.

1. Strengthens Bones and Teeth

Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in helping our bodies absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. Research has shown that having low levels of vitamin D can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones, in later life.

2. Improves Immunity

Studies have found that people with adequate levels of vitamin D are better able to fight off infections such as colds and flu than those who don’t get enough of the nutrient in their diets. This is because Vitamin D helps regulate our immune system by producing proteins called antimicrobial peptides that help fight off invading bacteria and viruses.

3. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure

Low levels of vitamin D can lead to higher blood pressure, which can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke if left unchecked over time. Adequate levels of vitamin D help keep your blood pressure at healthy levels, reducing your overall risk for cardiovascular-related health issues.

4. Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is one of the body’s natural processes which helps protect us from infection and injury, but too much inflammation can be damaging to our health over time. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to increased inflammation in the body, so maintaining optimal amounts through diet or supplementation may help reduce the risk for chronic inflammatory diseases such as asthma or arthritis.

5. Improves Mental Health

Recent studies have shown that there may be a link between low levels of vitamin D and depression or anxiety symptoms in some individuals. It’s believed that this connection may be due to how vitamin D affects certain neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin which play a role in regulating mood and emotions.

6. Protects Against Cancer

Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with an increased risk for certain types of cancer including colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer among others. While more research needs to be done on this topic, it’s believed that adequate intake or exposure to sunlight could help reduce your overall risk for developing these cancers over time.

7. Improves Muscle Strength

Vitamin D plays an important role in muscle strength since it helps regulate calcium absorption into muscles tissues which allows them to contract properly during exercise or physical activity. Research has also shown that having low levels of this vital nutrient could lead to weaker muscles over time so getting enough through diet or supplementation may help improve muscle strength over time.

8. Boosts Brain Function

Studies suggest that having adequate amounts of vitamin d could help boost cognitive function by improving memory recall and alertness. Vitamin D helps regulate certain neurotransmitters like glutamate which play a role in learning and memory formation.

9. Lowers Risk Of Diabetes

There is evidence suggesting that low levels of this nutrient could increase your chances for developing type 2 diabetes since it helps regulate insulin production.

10. Decreases Risk Of Heart Disease

Maintaining adequate amounts through diet or supplementation has been linked with lower risks for heart attack and stroke. Vitamin D helps reduce inflammation within arteries therefore decreasing plaque build-up overtime.

Vitamin D supplementation

Besides sun exposure, Vitamin D supplements provide the most convenient way to ensure the adequate dosage is taken; however it is recommended that you get a lab test done first to determine your Vitamin D levels and then adjust your supplementation accordingly. The current international recommendation for Vitamin D intake stands at 400-800 IUs/day, however some people may need higher doses depending on their individual situation. Vitamin D supplementation can also be obtained through dietary sources such as cod liver oil or fortified foods. When supplementation is not enough to raise a severely low vitamin D level, a high dose injection is an option. For more information on how sun exposure affects vitamin D click here.