Perhaps I should begin with a punch line ..”Sleep your way to fitness..”

Though I probably could , but I would narrowly  touch the grey zones , that involves sparks on the setting in of  Sloth associated with excess sleep.

Sleep pattern cycle through the twenty four hour day, better known as the  Circadian Rhythm,  is the basis to healthy day routine, catalysing absorption of energies and consequent efficient delivery of efforts.

In accordance to extensive research by Russell G. Foster :

  • Sleep onset time
  • Quantity of sleep
  • Quality of sleep

all directly link and govern with  mental health.

In accordance to studies by Russell G. Foster, “SCRD (Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Disruption) is also very common in mental illness, and although well known, this association is poorly understood or treated. Recent studies suggest that the generation of sleep and mental health shares overlapping neural mechanisms such that defects in these endogenous pathways result in pathologies to both behaviors. The evidence for this association is examined in some detail.

We conclude this review by suggesting that the emerging understanding of the neurobiology of sleep/wake behavior, and of the health consequences of sleep disruption, will provide new ways to decrease the conflict between biological and societal timing in both the healthy and individuals with mental illness.”

There is a huge talk on the phrase ‘Circadian Rhythm.’ Let us take a closer look. Also known as the sleep/wake cycle, the term CIRCADIAN refers to the physiology associated with the various biological processes occuring and recurring naturally on a twenty four hour cycle, even in the absence of  light fluctuations.

Theses biological processes include various functions such as sleep, wakefulness and digestive activity.  Good digestive activity, implies  better absorption of micro nutrients, that in turn paves way for  better physiological and pysychological health.

Circadian Rhythm = Good digestive activity = Better absorption of Micro Nutrients = Better Immune System = Better Physiological and Pysychological Health

Controlled by the hypothalamus in the brain, both presence of light and absence of light, send an optic signal from the eye to the brain  to enhance alertness and rest signals respectively. Upon being triggered by absence of light, the brain release the hormone Melatonin, that induces feeling of tiredness and signals the body to rest and recover, slowing  down heart rate and metabolic activities, to allow the vital organs and energy levels to re charge and replenish.

Nightime shift workers (truck drivers , call centre executives, flight attendants, emergency unit doctors etc), astronauts, individuals with frequent long hours of flight time suffer greatly from the disruption of their sleep patterns or Circadian Rhythm.This is also known as Circadian Disrhythmia or in common terms , Jet Lag. This pattern break is usually accompanied by a lot of gastrointestinal symptoms like acidity reflux , so on and so forth.

In the Hindu belief ,the Brahma Muharat is given great significance and rightly so. The early hours of the morning when the sun rays strike the Earth , are usually the most productive and peaceful hours , apt for concentration, meditation and realisation of different fields of studies. Sleeping and waking up early are the first conscious steps to taking charge of your health.

Working towards one’s health holistically , includes aiming at physical, mental, spiritual  wellness in symphony. A good sleep in turn leads to an efficient Circadian Rhythm.

Enulcation of the same is one of the important habits  to aim at working upon, for attaining holistic health, irrespective of negative social influences , work pressure and other deviations from the state of balance.

LINKS: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123969712000117?via%3Dihub0

-PUJA MITTAL