Whatever your lifestyle might be, wherever you live, whoever shares it with you, the BodyMind is subject to natural influences we do not control -forces external. In essence this is the influence of the Sun and Moon. Sunlight is essential for human health and well-being. The health benefits of sunlight include generating the production of vitamin D, supporting bone health, lowering blood pressure, preventing disease, and promoting good mental health.
The morning sun kickstarts the body clock and during the forenoon hours of daylight it strongly stimulates all BodyMind functions. During the afternoon and evening the sun’s stimulating influence lessens hour by hour, gradually giving way to lunar energies. The natural effects on our physical, mental, and behavioural nature in the 24-hour cycle, known as circadian rhythms, are fundamentally important to the maintenance and development of good health.
The moon’s radiation of mineralised energy, comprising largely of oxygen, carbon, and water, not only influences the movement of tidal flows, but it also directly affects our physical, mental, and emotional behaviour, the daily cycle of natural life. The sun’s rays stimulate and interrelate with the moon’s natural energies, and you the movements of both heavenly bodies are a governing influence upon our body clocks.
We are biological timepieces!
Nearly every tissue and organ in our body contains biological clocks. A master clock is situated in our brain. Some of the most important genes in this process are the Period and Cryptochrome genes, which build up in the cell’s nucleus at night and lessen during the day. These proteins help activate feelings of wakefulness, alertness, and sleepiness. However, signals from the environment also affect circadian rhythms. For instance, exposure to sunlight and moonlight at a different time of day and night can reset when the body turns on Period and Cryptochrome genes, as can the timing of your own lifestyle.
Circadian rhythms can influence important functions in our bodies, such as: hormone release, eating habits, digestion, and body temperature. For example, in the morning body temperature naturally rises, alertness and sharpness increases, in the afternoon (from approx. 1.00 – 3.00 p.m.) your energy dips and you may crave food, ongoing to about 7. 00 p.m. your energy output rate slows down -you have to work harder to maintain waking purpose.
However, most people notice the effect of circadian rhythms on their sleep patterns. The master clock in the brain controls the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. It receives information about incoming light from the optic nerves, which relay information from the eyes to the brain. When there is less sunlight—at night, the master clock tells the brain to make more melatonin, so you get drowsy.
To practically maintain and develop good health on a daily basis -these are the right things to do..
- Sleep before midnight and rise early. You need approximately seven to eight hours sleep -if it’s less over two to three days, not a problem, but if it extends beyond this the body will become unduly stressed, and mentally emotionally alertness and the ability to coordinate thoughts and action will be adversely affected. If you rise late and sleep after midnight, body clocks will adjust, but there will be a time lag in benefits and overall reduce waking time efficiency -or to put it another way, you have to work harder to utilise your BodyMind energies.
- Eat a nourishing breakfast. How big this meal is will depend upon the ‘burn’ capability you have. If your daily activity is not physically demanding, energy ‘burn’ will be slower in the morning than it can optimally be. If work is mentally and emotionally demanding, the ‘restful’ balance between the physical and mental counterparts of your BodyMind becomes stressed. You are overeating if your body feels it wants to sleep after the meal. A stimulating non-alcoholic drink is okay provided you also eat as well.
- Move the bowel after breakfast -this is the best time to do so, however if you are a late sleeping and rising person this might not take place until later in the day. Some exercise will promote it and getting out in the open air for 30 minutes sometime between 8 a.m. and noon will stimulate weight loss.
- Eat a small lunch, anytime between mid-day and 2.00 p.m. depending on how early or late you rise. Sugar snacks are best avoided, best are foods carbohydrate, protein rich, and as fresh as possible. Weight watchers do well with salads. A balance of soluble and non-soluble vegetable, e.g., celery is good. Again -if you feel like sleeping after eating -you are eating too much.
- Exercise. Dependent upon your lifestyle this could mean a five ten-minute walk in the morning -and again ideally in the afternoon after lunch. If you get exercise by working, nothing additional is required. As little as 15 minutes of sunlight is beneficial to get vitamin D input, strengthen the bones, and synergise calcium in bones and blood. Exposure to sunlight will increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin, which boosts mood and feelings of calm and clearness of mind. At night, darker lighting triggers the brain to make another hormone called melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping you sleep. If you enjoy exercising you are further benefited provided your ‘workout’ doesn’t leave you feeling the need for rest. The need of rest after exercise is a sign the BodyMind it has been overstressed.
- Evening meal best before 7.00 p.m. the later you eat the more you will disturb body clock cycles. You may be mentally and emotionally more active in the evening, largely due to the lunar influence, but physiologically you will be slowing down. If you feel like exercising or moving about -don’t push yourself, take it easy.
- Plenty of liquids. What you need varies between man and women and age. In general terms something between 3 and 4 pints (1.7 to 2.3 litres). Some of this is absorbed from food. Whilst drinking clean water is best the body can also meet its quota from other types of drink.
- During daylight the sun’s influence regulates your circadian rhythm by telling your body when to increase and decrease your melatonin levels. So, the more daylight exposure you can get, the better your body will produce melatonin when it’s time to go to sleep. Being stuck in an office or under rooves limits what you can receive. If your lifestyle limits exposure to sunlight -then ensure you include fatty fish in your diet, as that will give you vitamin D
Some general pointers:
Eat slowly consciously aware of what you masticate. Having conversation or watching TV whilst eating takes away from the full benefit food can give. The more conscious you are of eating and drinking the easier will you be aware of how much food and drink you need to ingest. And more -you consciously live the energy food and drink gives.
When walking, project yourself about 3 body shapes ahead -this helps you clear your mind and will make you aware of the momentary nature of life. Share yourself with the environment.
If you are watching TV before bedtime this will disrupt your hormones, decreasing melatonin which will mean it takes longer to go to sleep. If you are working on a computer or a phone visually, the blue light will mess with your circadian rhythm sleep cycle. It signals your brain to wake up when it should be winding down. If you must -read a little in bed, drinking something warm -that will help reset the body clock, and is a better way of regulating and increasing the input of melatonin. Even better, stress busting melatonin increases when you project your thinking mind positively sending compassionate loving feelings to someone else who you know needs support.
The circadian rhythm cycle repeats approximately every 24 hours.
The poem I’ve written for this week is a take on reality. Ask yourself this question -is love binding -or is it blinding?
Love is not Blinding
What does a man do when cloven in two
and love calls unite to his separate hearts?
Does love call out the timorous priest
and strip him of cassock and coat,
regal him with poems that are sweet on the ear,
perfume his hair and bedeck him with silk?
Or is love blind to the uniformed man
confessed of itself in the warmth of deep eyes,
a sensuous mouth… and words?
Unaccustomed words from a liturgical throat
making the blood hot and the heart keen.
But I do not think that love is blinding
a force separating priest from poet
or poet from man. Gentleness is the hallmark of Love
natural as the blossom on the apple hung bough,
strong as the oak root and powerful,
formless like water that runs through our hands
to cause each voice make the same sweet prayer.
Lover of my poetry, stand from your skin
Love is ubiquitous, the air of the firmament,
The dream of animals and the reality of Man.
If we cannot see this we are not in Love
And Love not us or ever will be ….