This week we have been talking about strong bodies, strong mind. Yesterday we heard from coach O’Hara on the importance of drinking water, but he also said that getting sleep was also extremely important. So today we are going to talk about circadian rhythm.
Jay Hall says it sounds really complicated but it basically means
- Physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle in light
- Light and darkness in our environment
- Sleeping at night, awake during the day
Circadian rhythm is why babies naturally fall asleep at night and wake up during the day but we all don’t sleep like babies so we need help. Why don’t we sleep like babies? It’s because of light and if you don’t turn the lights off eventually throughout the day, you really don’t get into the circadian rhythm. Things like sunlight, blue light, cell phones, tablets, artificial light, and fluorescent lights all go into your eyeball and are processed by the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus signals the pineal gland to produce what’s call melatonin. Melatonin is a natural substance produced in the pineal gland in the brain which helps the body sleep. So when you are looking at light you are not going to be getting melatonin which means you won’t be sleeping.