Are you familiar with a concept referred to as chronobiology or your circadian rhythm?
Do you ever wonder why you get hungry at the same time every day? Why you are most creative or energetic at certain parts of the day? Or perhaps why your joints are most stiff and your symptoms are worse at certain time points?
Every cell in your body has a clock. Cells in your eyes, your digestive tract, your liver, your fat cells and so on. More relevant to you is the fact that your immune system has a clock. This explains in part why you may wake up every morning achy and stiff. Inflammatory cytokines follow a daily rhythm. There is a healthy patterning to these clocks that help mitigate inflammation and promote health.
Getting a good night’s sleep is a very important facet of that, but there are many other factors that are important in entraining your immune system’s clocks with a healthy pattern. Your immune system likes predictability. And having a normal schedule and healthy sleep will help quiet inflammation.
Have a regular schedule (including weekends)
- Get in bed and get up at the same time every day
- Maintain a normal work schedule
- Eat at and exercise at the same times every day
Get regular outdoor exposure (one of the most powerful regulators is light)
- 5-10 minutes outside:
- Shortly after waking
- Later in the morning
- Once around noon
- Once during the late afternoon
Limit unhealthy light exposure at night
- No phones or screen time 1 hour before bed
- Download f.lux for your computer screens
- Free app that blocks blue light later in the day
- Set up time shift to block blue light on your phone
- Ensure your last meal of the day has healthy protein and starch
- Approximately 1 cup of starch and 4 ounces of protein
- Do not eat food any less than 3 hours before bed time
- Set the ambient temperature for your sleeping environment to 72 degrees
- Cooler temperature supports sleep drive
- Take a hot shower before bed
- Causes temperature shift that supports sleep drive
Supplements that help with sleep
- Jarrow Sleep Optimizer
- 2 capsules prior to bedtime
- Doctor’s Best Magnesium Glycinate
- 2 tablets prior to bed time