A consistent sleep-wake cycle is essential for a balanced nervous system.
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UPDATED MAR 21, 2023
The nervous system is responsible for regulating the body's Circadian Rhythm (sleep-wake cycle). Early sunlight and a proper bedtime routine, then, help to ensure that this natural cycle stays in balance.
EARLY MORNING SUNLIGHT
The human body is very sensitive to light exposure - and early exposure to sunlight (ideally outdoors) helps reset the body's biological clock.
Moreover, it prompts the production of serotonin which enhances mood throughout the day, and also supports better sleep at night as a precursor to melatonin.
As a best practice, one should aim for 5-10 minutes of morning sunlight, outdoors, ideally within an hour of waking up.
BEDTIME ROUTINE: KEY FACTORS
There are a few key things to keep in mind when creating a bedtime routine that will support a balanced nervous system.
First, it is important to establish a regular sleep schedule. This means going to bed around the same time each night.
Second, it is important to create a relaxing environment in your bedroom, free from distractions like electronics. Avoiding blue light close to the time you go to sleep will ease this transition.
Third, it is important to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Both of these substances can disrupt the body's natural sleep-wake cycle.
Fourth, it’s important to avoid eating close to bedtime. If no energy is diverted towards digestion during sleep, the nervous system will be much more capable of repairing itself leading to a replenishing night’s sleep.
Finally, it helps to prepare for sleep by winding down with activities that shift the nervous system into stillness, such as meditation, slow breathing techniques, reading, or taking a bath.
BALANCED SLEEP, BALANCED NERVOUS SYSTEM
By following these simple tips, you can nurture a sleep-wake cycle that will facilitate consistent sleep patterns, and support greater balance in the nervous system.
On average, NeuroFit members who prioritize a proper sleep-wake cycle report 5% higher HRV.
Neurological Fitness is the degree of balance, flexibility, and resilience of one's nervous system. The name implies that one's nervous system can be trained and strengthened, much like physical fitness.
Learn about the nervous system and relieve stress at the source with NeuroFit - available for iOS and Android.