Podcast > Episodes
EPISODE #9
What is Circadian Rhythm and how can we use it to optimize our health?
May 12, 2021
INTRO
What is Circadian Rhythm and how can we use it to optimize our health?
CR is internally driven cycles that rise and fall during the 24-hour day. Help you fall asleep at night and wake you up in the morning. Different systems of the body follow circadian rhythms that are synchronized with a master clock in the brain. This master clock is directly influenced by environmental cues, especially light, which is why circadian rhythms are tied to the cycle of day and night.

When properly aligned, a circadian rhythm can promote consistent and restorative sleep. But when this circadian rhythm is thrown off, it can create significant sleeping problems.

Actually, All processes in our body work on a circadian rhythm, and not just our sleep-wake cycle.
We have “clocks” in each of our organs that dictate hormone secretion, insulin sensitivity, metabolic functions, nutrient absorption, appetite, glucose metabolism, body temperature – just to name a few. These processes work optimally when our external cues (when we are eating, sleeping, exposed to light, etc) line up with these internal clocks.
So to maintain optimal health, we want to align our external cues and internal cues so they can work harmoniously. One major misalignment is late night eating. It is common to see both elevated glucose values overnight and/or a higher glucose response to a meal when we eat later in the day due to this misalignment and lowered insulin sensitivity in the evenings.
So we want to give ourselves that minimum 3 hour window between our last bite and bedtime.
If possible, I would definitely recommend trying “early time restricted eating” which would emphasize an eating window within daytime hours to better align our body with our natural circadian rhythms. For many people, this means consuming your last bite of food before 6pm (or earlier!). This might not always be possible, but aiming for an earlier eating window is a great goal.
If you have to have a later meal due to schedules or work, I would recommend continuing to keep it very low carb, focused on whole foods, and overall smaller portion sizes to help compensate for these effects.
Here are a few other tips to better entrain our 24-hour sleep cycles.

Seek out sun: Exposure to natural light, especially early in the day, helps reinforce the strongest circadian cue.
Follow a consistent sleep schedule: Varying your bedtime or morning wake-up time can hinder your body’s ability to adjust to a stable circadian rhythm.
Get daily exercise: Activity during the day can support your internal clock and help make it easier to fall asleep at night.
Avoid caffeine: Stimulants like caffeine can keep you awake and throw off the natural balance between sleep and wakefulness. Everyone is different, but if you’re having trouble sleeping, you should avoid caffeine after noon.
Limit light before bed: Artificial light exposure at night can interfere with circadian rhythm.
Keep naps short and early in the afternoon: Late and long naps can push back your bedtime and throw your sleep schedule off-kilter.

Well, there you have it – now you are an expert in Circadian Rhythm and how you can use it to optimize your health.

Thanks for listening and have a great day!

AUDIO
0 (1s):
Hello and welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I’m a certified health coach, trainer and author. And this podcast is for a middle-aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was at 10 to 15 years ago, I will give you simple, actionable items to get long-term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show.

1 (32s):
Alright, welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. Today’s episode. I’m going to talk about circadian rhythm and how we can use it to optimize our health. This is a topic that I hear a lot about, and I want him to go just in a little bit into detail and then give you some tips on how to use it in your life. So, circadian rhythm is inter is an internally driven cycle that rises and falls during the 24 hours a day. It helps you fall asleep at night and wakes you up in the morning. Different systems of the body follow circadian rhythms that are synchronized with a master clock in the brain. So This master clock is directly influenced by environmental cues, especially light, which is why circadian rhythms are tied to the cycle of day and night.

1 (1m 19s):
Now When properly aligned of circadian. Rhythm can promote consistent and restorative sleep, but when this circadian rhythm is thrown off, it can create significant sleeping problems, actually all processes in our body work on a circadian rhythm, not just our sleep wake cycle. I mean, we have clocks in our, each of our origins that dictate hormone, secretion, insulin sensitivity, metabolic function, nutrient absorption, appetite, glucose metabolism, body temperature, just to name a few. So These processes work optimally when our external cues, things that we are eating, sleeping, exposed to light, et cetera, line up with our internal cues.

b1 (2m 4s)

So to maintain optimal health. We want to align our external cues and our internal cues. So they both work harmoniously. Well, one major misalignment that I find is late night eating. It is common to see both elevated glucose levels overnight and high glucose response to a meal. When we eat later in the day, due to this misalignment and lowered insulin sensitivity in the evenings. So we want to give ourselves that minimum of three hour window between our last bite and bedtime, if possible, I would recommend trying early time restricted eating, which would emphasize an eating window within a day time hours to better align our body with our natural circadian.

1 (2m 50s):
Rhythm’s for many people, this means consuming your last bite of food before 6:00 PM. And this might not always be possible, but aiming for it a little earlier, I would really help out and be a great goal. Now, if you do have a lighter meal due to work or your schedule, I would recommend continue it to be fairly low carb and focused on whole foods, and then maybe S have smaller portion size later in the day to compensate for this. Now, there is a few other tips to sort of better in train these 24 hour sleep cycles. Seek out sun, early exposure to natural light can really help reinforce our strongest Circadian Q so get out and walk.

1 (3m 33s):
Secondly, Follow a consistent sleep schedule. So Varying your bedtime or morning. Wake up time can really hinder your body’s ability to adjust to a stable circadian rhythm. Third Get daily exercise activity during the day can really help support your internal clock and help make it easier to fall asleep at night for Avoid caffeine. I know it’s everyone’s friend, but I would say Stimulants like, caffeine can keep you awake and throw off the natural balance between sleep and wakefulness. So everyone’s a little bit different on this, but if you’re having trouble sleeping, I would avoid caffeine in the afternoon, limits your bedtime, excuse me, limit Lite before you go to bed.

1 (4m 16s):
So obviously cell phones, computers turn off all that artificial light Exposure at night, and that can really help us get your circadian rhythm’s aligned. I like to see, for example, I liked to not look at my phone at least an hour before bedtime, make that a goal. And lastly, Keep naps short and early in the afternoon. So if you are a napper, don’t take them too late in the day and don’t make them too long because that’ll totally throw off your sleep schedule. So there you have it. Now you’re an expert it circadian rhythm and how you can use it to optimize your health and thanks for much for listening and have a great day. Bye.

0 (4m 55s):
Thanks for listening to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there, and you’ve chosen to listen to mine. And I appreciate that. Check out the show notes at Brian Gryn dot com for everything that was mentioned in this episode, feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member has looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again, and have a great day.

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