One of the biggest issues people fail to understand when looking for optimal health is the importance of getting to bed on time. Living in today’s world with the late night TV shows and the electrical gadgets that can keep you up for well into the early hours of the morning, its easy to forget that for thousands of years we lived in sync of the light and dark cycles of day and night.
Whenever light stimulates your skin or eyes your body, regardless of the source, your brain and hormone system will automatically thinks its morning. In response to light, your hormonal system naturally releases cortisol. Cortisol is an activating hormone that is released in response to stress, light being a form of electromagnetic stress.
As the sun rises, our cortisol levels also rise and peak between the hours of 06.00 – 09.00. They then drop a little but remain high through midday supporting daily activity. In the afternoon cortisol levels begin to drop as the sun or light begins to decrease. The decreasing in cortisol levels allows for an increase in melatonin and growth and repair hormones. If we follow our natural sleep/wake cycle we start to wind down as the sun sets and should fall asleep by around 10pm. Physical repair mostly takes place when the body is asleep, between the hours of 10pm and 2am. After 2am the immune and repair energies are more focused on mental repair, which lasts until we awake.