During their teenage years, children cannot seem to get enough sleep. Many parents worry when their children slumber for 10 to 12 hours at a time. However, as people age, their rest becomes chaotic and insomnia sets in. Most people think that insomnia is normal as it’s something they have dealt with for years.
They may take over-the-counter medications or get prescriptions to help them rest. However, it is nature that holds the key.
Understanding the Circadian Rhythm
The circadian rhythm is your body’s inner clock. It keeps you on schedule and lets you know when it’s time to sleep and time to wake. You probably didn’t realize that nature is very much behind this rhythm.
Your circadian rhythm is endogenously produced, but it can be altered or controlled by things like temperature and sunshine. Even plants, animals, and fungi rely on these physiological processes to keep them on track. However, it’s very easy to get this rhythm off by just a few alterations in your schedule and the body can suffer.
What Causes You to Get off Your Circadian Rhythm?
Have you ever heard of people working night shifts complaining that they feel like their bodies are “off”? They may struggle to get enough sleep. Being awake when they are supposed to be asleep messes with their body’s natural rhythm.
When people age, their bodies produce less melatonin and cortisol, both vital chemicals that help keep the circadian rhythm on track. Other things that can mess with this rhythm include taking daytime naps, getting up too early in the morning, insomnia in the night hours and medications. However, if your internal clock is off, all is not lost. There are ways to get the sleep schedule back on track.
Enhancing the Circadian System
Adding things to enhance the circadian system proves positive. The addition of melatonin can be beneficial, as well as engaging in structured daily activities, developing a routine, and using bright light therapy. Also, those who go outside in the sunshine show dramatic improvement in their sleep. How can the sun help with rest? Everyone knows that the sun is linked to vitamin D, but the lack of this vitamin could have everything to do with insomnia.
The great outdoors does wonders for the body. Some experts even go as far as saying that camping can really enhance the workings of the circadian rhythm. Being in the sunshine during the day gives your body energy. However, being outside in the cool of the evening helps to calm you and it prepares you for rest.
Sunshine and Vitamin D Are Major Components of Sleep
Vitamin D has gotten a great deal of attention in the news. We know that low levels of this vital supplement can be responsible for chronic pain, pulmonary issues, elevated blood pressure and bone health. Nevertheless, new studies show that the lack of vitamin D can cause problems with the sleep schedule. Mostly, people with low levels will experience daytime sleepiness. The more a person sleeps during the day, the more he or she is apt to struggle with insomnia at night.
There’s no need to take supplements if you can sit outside. Nature provides the key to a restful night’s sleep. However, those who cannot get out or have irritations to the sun can take a supplement that can improve their sleep schedule.
Peaceful Sleep From Nature
Have you ever sat next to a babbling brook and the water seemed to wash all the cares of life away? Why do you think so many people head to the ocean each year for their vacation? Nature is powerful and it can help you more than you realize. Many times, people struggle with sleep because they are under stress or they are in a constant state of anxiety. Sitting next to the water can help balance the angst.
Individuals have been using water for centuries to help them relax. Have you heard of the Roman baths? Experts believe that there is a sense of calm and clarity that comes from being next to the water. Those who live next to bodies of water find that they are more creative, have better sleep schedules and they don’t have the anxiety issues that others do. While not everyone can live by the water, there are sleep machines and small fountains that help mimic these sensations.
Nature is amazing. Whether you are depressed, have problems with chronic anxiety or cannot sleep at night, it can help. Just breathing in fresh air and exhaling out all the toxins in your body can work miracles for what ails you.