• Sonia

Sleep better with Circadian

I came across the Circadian method a couple of years ago when I was researching how to get a better night's sleep and trying every and anything in the process.

In a nutshell, our body clocks are controlled by circadian rhythms, which are affected by light and dark. These circadian rhythms are the reason we feel awake in the mornings and sleepy at night (ideally). Right now, with an increase in screen time and likely a lack of regular routine, you might find that you're not sleeping as well as you'd like.

Unable to fall asleep, stirring throughout the night, or waking up earlier than normal, irritability, dealing with unwanted food cravings and weight gain? Read on.

What Is It?

The circadian diet is a time-restricted way of eating working in sync with your body’s internal body clock. The ideals would mean eating during daylight hours, within a window of 12 hours or less, and then not eating at all and fasting the rest of the day/evening/night. By eating your larger meals at the start of the day and making your last meal of the day smaller and lighter.

The Benefits
  • Better sleep

  • Weight loss

  • Better gut function

  • Improved digestion

  • Improved alertness

  • Reduced hunger

  • Improved cell repair,

  • Reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation

  • Anti-aging benefits

  • Protection from serious diseases

The circadian diet supports our internal gut like no other. Although research is still ongoing, The Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) is said to be activated every 90 minutes and initiates a cleaning wave of our digestive tract—but only if no food is present. We need to leave around 4 to 5 hours between meals for it to work properly, and around a 12-hour period at night to do its thing. Every 90 minutes when you're not eating, there's a gurgling sound which is the MMC in action, cleaning the digestive tract of residual food, secretions, and cellular waste - clever!

The 'Rules'

The Circadian Code, written by Satchin Panda, PhD

The first meal you have in the day is your break-fast, no matter what time, and yes, even a coffee opens your 'eating window'. "The earlier you finish eating each day the better—research shows the insulin response is better in the first half of the day and worse in the second half.

If your first meal is taken at 10 a.m you should finish eating by 8 pm for a 10-hour window, working towards an eventual 6 p.m. finish for an 8-hour window. Finishing eating earlier helps with melatonin production and therefore, sleep.

  • Have a full break-fast - to include fiber, protein, and healthy fats

  • Eat min 4 hours before bed

  • Avoid starchy carbs in your evening meal - instead, make it protein and veg!

  • Eating a variety of colorful vegetables at each meal

  • Get your protein in! e.g.poultry, eggs, natural or greek yogurt, fish, quinoa, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans

  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake, instead drink lots of water (2L rule)

Do better

Research into circadian rhythms is ongoing and it goes beyond just diet. Here are some quick and easy ways to give your circadian rhythms a quick tune-up:

  • Get some sunlight on your face first thing

  • Set the same time to wake up and go to bed, even on weekends

  • Support Your Digestion and Chew your food well as

  • Avoid drinking too much with a meal to prevent diluting your digestive enzymes.

  • Relax post-meal to aid digestion

  • fully digest before you eat again - circa 4 hours

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