What is biological rhythm? These are regular, predictable cycles that govern many physiological processes in our body. Among the best known, the circadian rhythm has a direct influence on our well-being and our health. By understanding this cycle, we can better understand how our body works and how it is influenced by natural and artificial light.
Understanding biological rhythm
Biological rhythm is a general term that encompasses all life cycles that occur within a specific time interval. The most familiar of these rhythms is the circadian rhythm, which occurs over a 24-hour period. Studies published in journals like Chronobiology International have found that these rhythms govern a variety of processes, including sleep, eating, mood, and cognitive performance.
These rhythms are controlled by an internal clock or a "pacemaker" located in the brain, precisely in the hypothalamus. It is this clock that triggers or inhibits the release of hormones that regulate our bodily functions, creating a synchronized cycle.
Disturbances of biological rhythm and their impact
When our biological rhythm is unbalanced, we can experience negative impacts on our health. A desynchronized circadian rhythm, often caused by night work, jet lag or poor sleep hygiene, can lead to sleep disturbances, mood disorders, poor cognitive performance, weight gain and even increased risk of certain chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases.
The role of light in biological rhythm
Light plays a key role in regulating our biological rhythm. Exposure to natural light during the day is the strongest signal to our internal clock, indicating when it is time to be active and when it is time to rest. Much research has shown that light, particularly blue light, can have a significant impact on the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep.
However, exposure to artificial light, particularly blue light from computer and phone screens, can disrupt our circadian rhythm. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that exposure to blue light before bed can delay melatonin production, which can disrupt sleep.
The solution: respect our biological rhythm
It is possible to reset our body clock through appropriate exposure to natural light and a regular sleeping and eating routine. Avoiding bright screens before bed and getting up at the same time each day can also help realign our biological rhythm.
Physical exercise can also play a role in regulating biological rhythm. Studies have shown that physical activity can help reset the body's internal clock, especially when done regularly and at the same time each day.
It is also essential to pay attention to our diet. Eating at regular times and avoiding heavy meals late in the evening can help maintain a healthy biological rhythm. Likewise, a diet rich in nutrients and whole foods can help support the body's internal clock function.
Understanding our biological rhythm and the role of light in its regulation is essential for our health and well-being. At Arits, we are dedicated to helping our customers live in harmony with their natural rhythms through innovative and sustainable lighting solutions. For us, every step towards a better understanding of our body and its interaction with light is a step towards a healthier world.
“Chronobiology: An Introduction to Biological Rhythms”
“Circadian Rhythms and Sleep” – Nature and Science of Sleep
“Evening use of light-emitting eReaders negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness” - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
"Light Exposure and Sleep-Wake Patterns in the Elderly" - Journal of Psychosomatic Research