Wake up at different times each day – Someday at 9 AM, someday at 8:50 AM, and so on. Wake up after multiple snoozes and feel irritated that it’s already morning and time to rush. Complete all the must-do tasks of the day in a hurry and a tense state of mind. Eat breakfast in a hurry with no time to enjoy the breakfast and rush to work. Does this sound familiar to you? This is how the majority of the people start their mornings. Mornings are crazy times for many people, especially in the modern times.
But when we see our grandmothers, they always wake up early. Be it a Sunday or a Monday, they are up and active even before Sunrise time, and they also encourage the family members to wake up early. So why is it that our grannies woke us up early? Why is it that our tradition and culture have always emphasized on waking up early? Is it because “All life starts at sunrise on earth?” Or is it because our Vedas/Patanjali said so, and the religion adds to it? What about Science?
Is there any Science that supports our granny’s wisdom? Is there any proof? The answer is Yes. Proof given by Science for granny’s wisdom is Circadian Rhythm. In 2017, the Nobel Prize was given to the 3 scientists who worked on Circadian Rhythm. Our poor granny did not get any prize.
What is Circadian Rhythm? It’s a 24-hour biological clock that regulates all our biological and physiological processes. It is an internal clock that tells the body when to sleep, when to wake up, and when to eat and guides the timings of various life processes in the human body. Like an organization has particular work timings, our body, too, has a clock that tells the body when to do what. In an organization that is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, it’s disruptive if an associate logs in at 4 PM and logs out at 1 AM. So is the case with our body. Our body runs by an internal clock, and this clock is called the circadian rhythm.
Science found out that our circadian rhythm is closely connected with Sunrise and Sunset. Our internal biological clock recommends us to wake up with the sunrise and end our day or slow down with sunset. This is exactly how our grandparents lived. If you observe them, they wake up and rest at the same time aligned with Sunrise and Sunset
When our day-to-day activities are not aligned with the internal clock of our body, it results in various diseases. As per Science, a person who does not live as per circadian rhythm recommendations has higher chances of developing insomnia, depression, anxiety, migraine, diabetes, obesity, dementia, cardiovascular diseases, and various other health problems. So, now the secret of our grandparents’ robust physical and mental health, even in their seventies and eighties, is revealed. It’s their simple and profound wisdom of waking up with the sunrise and slowing down with sunset.
8 reasons why circadian rhythm disrupts in modern times
1. Waking up several hours after sunrise
2. Active nightlife
3. Irregular wake up and sleep times
4. Lack of exposure to early morning sunlight
5. Too much exposure to bright screens and bright light during night time
6. Frequent jet lags
7. Night shifts
8. Eating at the wrong time of the day
10 ways to strengthen the circadian rhythm of our body
1. Wake up with Sunrise
2. Slow down with Sunset
3. Maintain wake up and sleep times fixed every day – even on weekends
4. After waking up, exercise outdoors in early morning sunlight for at least 20 to 25 minutes
5. Get plenty of natural light during day time
6. Avoid usage of electronic devices as much as you can during night time
7. Use blue light filters after sunset if you need to use electronic devices
8. Sleep in total darkness during night time
9. Eat more during the early time of the day and wind up eating with sunset
10. Practice any form of exercise like walking, jogging, playing a sport, gymming, yoga etc
10 benefits of living in tune with circadian rhythm
1. High energy levels throughout the day
2. Better ability to cope up with every day stress
3. A great start of the day
4. Peaceful sleep during night time
5. Time to plan the day properly without rushing through mornings
6. Light and active body and mind
7. Better physical, emotional and mental health
8. Delayed aging
9. Strong physical body
10. Better immunity levels
Our ancestors were very much in tune with the circadian rhythm in nature. They woke up with sunlight and birds chirping, signaling that it is daybreak and time to wake up. It’s all in perfect health- nature has set it all for us. But being a part of rapid modernization, we are living in the circadian fog, a mild form of jet lag, and we are all suffering from disrupted circadian rhythm to some extent. We lack sunlight during the day and get too much of it during the nights in the form of artificial light.
Let’s try and stay connected to our true wellness- the nature, where we are tied to the sun. In the early morning sunlight, feeling the breeze, alongside listening to the birds chirping, performing sun salutations where mind, body, and spirit are in alignment, bring us to present moment awareness instantly. And this reminds Patanjali’s emphasis on Surya Namaskara. Doing Surya namaskar is a sacred way of starting our day with prayers and gratitude to Lord Surya. How beautifully empowering it is to realize that we are all connected to the sun! Now, this is oneness in the truest sense.
So, Science proved that our granny’s wisdom is worth a Nobel prize. Let’s embrace our granny’s wisdom and make waking up early an integral part of our life.
Wishing you lots of love, life & success and Shine