Circadian rhythms have been long forgotten since technology slipped into our homes. We were once farmers, each one of our ancestors a direct descendant of an agriculturalist. This is not hyperbole; this is how we made it so far on our human journey.
Unfortunately, many of us have lost touch with nature. We’ve disregarded the divine design of our bodies and how they relate to Mother Nature. She makes no mistakes. We are meant to rise and set with the Sun –to follow the patterns created for human survival. Since we’ve pulled away from natural systems, we’ve forgotten the importance of early rest and proper nutrition. As a result, we’re tired, stressed, depressed; we carry around general ennui and apathy. In order to reset our systems, we need to understand where we’re doing our bodies and brains harm.
Technology addictions have altered our metabolism and mental health. We’ve set up new habits. And these habits directly affect our ability to eat and sleep properly. Most of our modern lifestyle sabotages our ability to reach peak performance. How?
We’re glued to the screen. We’re consuming too much processed food. We’re staying up later than ever before and getting less restorative sleep. We’re piling on the pounds by eating late night snacks and drinking beverages that wreak havoc on the system. Overall, we’re crossing our fingers, hoping for health.
The materialist and capitalist will fight for longer working hours and 24-hour venues, but the reality is this—we come from nature; therefore, following her schedule makes sense. Not only for our health, but for our wellbeing, too. Therefore, shifting our whole schedules to align with nature isn’t only organic, but vital for resilience.
Give Your Liver A Break
Unfortunately, there has been a complete disregard for the liver, the hardest working organ in the entire body. The liver hour is between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. Resting is compulsory. However, what we’re mostly likely doing at those hours, especially on the weekend, is indulging in night life and consuming both food and drink, or finding entertainment on our electronic devices. Most of the time, we’re up late scrolling away into a very ill-fated future full of stress, sleep deprivation, and slow metabolisms. Eating late at night and the problems that accompany it are astounding; some recommend nighttime appetite suppressants to keep hunger pains at bay. But follow the guidance of a nutritionist for best results.
This is reflected in how we digest our food. It shows up on the skin as a sallow color, even pinkish. It is inflammation in the body and it requires a detailed analysis of everything the body is consuming as well as how the body is digesting everything. The tongue and temples give clues to a poor functioning liver; bowel movements and facial lines also indicate if liver problems exist.
Every time we open our mouths, the liver works. And every time we ignore sleep cycles, our liver works overtime. What can we do to combat this?
Eat bitter foods to stimulate digestion. Dark leafy greens are best, but there are plenty of other options available, too. Teas like dandelion leaf and green tea top the charts. If you’re not sure how to add bitter foods to your regimen try adding them in small quantities to your favorite dishes.
Know The Dosha Hours
Ayurveda divides the day into dosha hours where every three hours relates to an organ. This is a useful tool in order to get the most out of the day. Knowing what time is best for each activity allows us to tap into nature’s resources for optimal living.
Kapha: 6 to 10, a.m. and p.m.
Properties are heavy and sluggish, therefore eating a large breakfast or dinner will only provoke those properties. Have a light breakfast and dinner, full of spice.
Pitta: 10 to 2, a.m. and p.m.
When the sun is highest in the sky, digestion and productivity is at its peak, therefore lunch should be sizeable. Heat in the natural world will support digestion; however, stay out of the sun during these hours if possible.
Vata: 2 to 6, a.m. and p.m.
Follow Circadian Rhythms
We push ourselves to stay up later than ever before. Not only does this affect the liver’s function, it also drastically alters the quality of sleep we receive. Once upon a time, the setting sun was a sign for us to seek respite. Now we stay up well past midnight and often disregard the body’s need for sleep. While every organism is slightly different, the truth is all bodies require at least 6-8 hours of sleep—in some cases less or more, depending on your dosha and other factors as well, like mental agility and breathing patterns.
Create Better Habits
We are capable of altering ourselves faster than we think. The real issue is do we want to change. And the other issue is managing our brains. We must learn to dominate our brains. Studies say that we can change habits after 28 days. Others says around 66 days. It’s longer than we previously thought (14-21 days), but it’s short when compared to a lifetime.
Change is hard. It can be scary and often feels unsurmountable. That’s where our brain comes into play. By training our brains to adapt to new changes, we can face and embrace them in ways that were not possible before.
Meditation is the first step to creating better habits. It teaches us to be still, to accept what is happening, to be grateful for the small things in life, and to find calmness in the face of chaos. Once we can add meditation to our daily habits, we’re already on the road to success.
Shortly thereafter, other habits will naturally arise. The desire to better ourselves will surface as if out of nowhere. It will take the shape of making better food choices, opting to go to bed earlier, and shutting off the computer screen more frequently.
Adding more water and fiber, avoiding too much caffeine and sugar, and engaging in more physical activities will become second nature once we go inside ourselves and find out what our spirit really craves. It is a process, one that takes time, but one that is well worth the investment. After all, the two most precious resources we have are time and health. So why not pay attention to both in order to manifest a life that brings you closer to your most authentic self.