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Sunglasses, Hormones and Sleep

Even though it’s always sunny in San Diego, and wearing sunglasses is as common wearing clothes (plus they’re a great fashion accessory), I’ve recently been consciously leaving them in their case. Why? Because light (both natural and artificial) affects our hormones, energy levels, sleep and overall health.

Things as simple as alarm clocks, windows, sunglasses and iPhones affect the functioning of our bodies! Whaaaat?!!! It’s true! AND, honoring the body’s natural rhythms helps our bodies perform its various functions and stay healthy and happy. I’m going to share a few ways you can do that, but first a few helpful concepts…

Our body has an internal clock

How it works…

Sunglasses Our body has a natural energy rhythm (Circadian rhythm), which is our body’s 24-hour internal time clock that cycles through periods of sleepiness and alertness. Light travels through the eyes to the master clock in the body, eventually to our glands and organs, letting them know what time of day it is and what season it is.

Based on that, our body releases different hormones and our organs perform their various functions. All of our organs have peak times when they perform a specific, vital function. For example, the thyroid releases more or less T3 based on whether it’s summer or winter.

But, when our body is confused about what time it is our genes will express differently than normal, which can result in our hormones being off, troubles sleeping, and more.

Circadian rhythm is a lifestyle issue

As I learned about all of this in my Thyroid.Yoga™ training, I also learned that lifestyles have become an issue for our biological clocks thanks to artificial light from things like iPhones, computers, iPads, TVs and more. Those sources of artificial light have affected our body’s natural clock.

Because so many of us are in artificial temperatures and lights for extended periods of time, our bodies are confused. Our hormones are whacked and so are our sleep and energy levels.

Think about it…people used to wake at dawn and wrap things up for the day at sunset. These days we are up well past sunset surrounded by artificial light.

Sunlight is superior

The more natural sunlight we get, the better for our circadian rhythm. Aside from giving us our daily doses of Vitamin D, it also helps those internal clocks, hormones, sleep and more!

Seriously…our bodies are so smart, if we let them do their thing! Here are some ways you can honor your body’s natural rhythms and internal time clock:

  • Get outside! Get your feet on the earth! Jason Prall, who taught this portion of Thyroid.Yoga™, suggested 20 minutes of daylight upon waking up, preferably barefoot
  • Remove or reduce anything that stands between your eyes and sunlight: glasses, contacts, windows, sunglasses
  • Don’t reach for your iPhone first thing in the morning
  • Shut your iEverything and TV down a couple hours before bed, and keep the lights dim in your home, using orange light instead of blue light (an excuse to get a salt rock lamp!)
  • If you’re OD-ing on artificial light, set a boundary that you access various electronics from certain times. For me, it’s 8 AM to 8 PM when I notice I’m off balance. Find a boundary that works for you!
  • Set your iPhone to “Night Shift” under Settings>Display & Brightness>Night Shift. My iPhone screen automatically turns to a mellow orange glow at 8 PM daily.

Note to recovering perfectionists: this doesn’t mean never wear sunglasses! it’s an invitation to be mindful of how often you’re putting a shield between your eyes and the sun. Maybe we should be wearing our sunglasses at night, as the song says?! 😉

Cleanse your aura

No one is perfect, and we will have time when we don’t honor our natural rhythms. In that case, meditation is great for clearing our energy field and aura, which gets zapped by the vibes from our devices. Yogi Bhajan, master of Kundalini Yoga, predicted a rise in disease with the advance of technology. He shared a meditation to help cleanse our aura, which I’ll be sharing in my Facebook group, Shine Your Wild Light, this week. To access the meditation live (Tuesday) or catch the replay, join the group!

And, if you’re interested in learning more about this topic, feel free to check out Jason Prall or the Thyroid.Yoga™ program by the lovely Fern Olivia!

Happy to Heal (Everything Your Doctor’s Not Telling You About Healing Your Thyroid, Adrenals and Leaky Gut) is starting this September! Get on the waitlist today for discounted pricing! 🙂