Take Time to Establish a Rhythm
by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ Flatirons Naturopathic Clinic
For our families, the transition into fall is a big change from the long free-flowing days of summer vacation. One of the most important things we can do for our health is establish a predictable, internal rhythm. A predictable rhythm allows our bodies to function at their best, reduce our stress and is a key component for optimal endocrine system functioning.
The endocrine system influences almost every single function, cell, and organ in our bodies. Physical growth and development and immune system function; using, maintaining and storing energy; vital functions like metabolism, digestion, sleep, and stress response are all functions of the endocrine system.
Proper nutrition, the right amount of sleep, exercise and hydration in a set rhythm are the key components of healthy endocrine function. Consistent sleep patterning, exercising, walking, and even going to the bathroom at the same time each day promotes a positive and healthy sense of well-being. When we feel our best, we are much less effected by external stress.
Without a definitive rhythm, our bodies clunk and bang along like unbalanced washing machines. When we go to bed at varied times, our bodies do not know when needed rest is coming; this can result in feeling tired throughout the day and/or the inability to fall asleep or wake up at night. When we skip meals and eat at varied times we can feel hungry all day, or be tempted to snack; our bodies don't know when they will have sustenance. This lack of rhythm affects the adrenals, melatonin production, blood sugar levels and cortisol production (functions of the endocrine system). Ultimately, this has a very negative affect on our quality of sleep, mood, energy level, ability to concentrate and immune system. When we eat at consistent times throughout the day, and go to bed at a consistent time each night, we prepare our bodies and minds to function at their absolute best. During times of high stress, it is especially important that we keep a rhythm.
Try taking a small amount of time each day to focus on establishing a predictable rhythm. Provide your body with the comfort that you will provide what it needs, when needed. Rhythm is vital to our health and wellbeing.
In my next blog I will discuss the importance of nutrition and provide some creative, easy ways for everyone in the family to get the nutrition they need to feel their best.