I have just returned from a trip to Canada with lots of cool, fresh mountain air and wholesome food, spent with Tera Warner and 6 amazing women from all corners of the world.
Whilst waiting for my lift home from Heathrow at 7am, I was feeling grateful to be back in the UK and for the warmer weather, which incredibly has lingered past the autumn equinox, the clocks going back and now into Halloween.
That day I recalled previous long haul flights I’ve had over the years and trying to readjust to different time zones. Jet lag is not a pleasant experience and reminds me how important our bodies’ natural biorhythms are to our health. I decided to have a very rare coffee on the Saturday in an attempt to stay awake until the evening and reset my natural body clock to 5 hours later. Alas my body had different ideas about a smooth transition into UK time. Instead of the desired effect of awakeness, the coffee exasperated the feelings of jet lag with nausea, dizziness and a general adrenaline pumped spaced out feeling you would normally expect from amphetamines. It was very unpleasant and one I don’t care to repeat. Next time I’ll just stick to rehydrating with lots of water and an enema, (absolutely the best way to rehydrate).
The jet lag was a great reminder of how we do well to live within our bodies’ natural biorhythms. Many of us carry on our daily lives unaware of the many natural rhythms taking place all the time, even those we are aware of, we often choose to ignore. The invention of electricity artificially lengthens the daytime in the short winter days when we should be slowing down and sleeping and/or resting in the darks hours. On shorter days and longer dark nights the body needs more time to cleanse and detox the cells in our body. To ignore this puts the body under additional stress, which results in the body becoming more dehydrated. All illness has some level of dehydration.
To ignore our circadian rhythms is also to ignore our normal sleeping and eating patterns, although unseen we also have other activities that need to take place throughout our twenty-four hour day; hormone production, cell regeneration and cleansing to name just a few. To work against these natural rhythms does not allow the normal biological processing that needs to take place in our bodies, which then causes stress and dehydration. The hormone melatonin, (an essential chemical in helping us sleep), is not present during the day, but production increases in the evening preparing us for a good night’s sleep. We all know those familiar, unpleasant feelings that I had of late of jetlag when our natural rhythm has been disrupted and these chemical changes in the body have struggled to take place..
A report published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed a 36% greater risk of breast cancer for women who had worked night shifts for more than 30 years, compared with women who had never worked nights. This is a very clear message to those ignoring the body’s natural day/night cycle and the consequences of doing so.
The lunar cycle is a rhythm that is now recognised by the police as affecting behaviour, with increased policing taking place in many cities around the UK around the time of the full moon. The ions of the full moon can create a very uncomfortable feeling in those that are already suffering dehydration and impaired cellular cleansing. This coupled with alcohol can make for a difficult and sometimes violent combination. Hospitals are also aware that a full moon will usually guarantee them a very busy time.
Eating seasonal local harvest that has not been jetted halfway across the world holds many benefits; our bodies are better able to digest and use, and even need, the vitamins and minerals from food grown and harvested locally. Eating strawberries in the depths of winter, grown in Egypt would not be in tune with what our bodies really need. Fruit is difficult for the body to digest in the winter months and has a very damp, cooling effect, when we should be eating slow growing warming foods that are grown in the dark, (underground). It is also kinder to the environment, less expensive and of course any food flown thousands of miles will have lost most of its goodness.
Here are some great tips to help your body adjust to the darker autumn and winter months:
- Try and get more sleep or at least more rest as this is the time to conserve the body’s energy and naturally slow down
- Use less lighting nearer bedtime so the brain is naturally adjusting the hormones needed for sleep (this includes watching TV and computer screens etc)
- Try eating more slowly cooked, warming foods, e.g. casseroles, soups and stews, especially those with darker root vegetables
- Try not to eat heavy meals after dark when the body is winding down.
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