How Your Circadian Rhythm Affects Your Immune System

There’s more to staying healthy than eating well and exercising.

Wednesday, Jul 08th, 2020

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This year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all been prioritizing our health and wellness – in big ways and small. While most of us understand the importance of eating well and exercising, did you also know that your circadian rhythm can play a critical role in the strength of your immune system? In this post, we’ll break down how and why.

What is your circadian rhythm?

Your circadian rhythm is your daily internal cycle that functions on a 24 hour clock. This cycle affects your physical, mental, and behavioral functions and can influence your sleep-wake cycle, hormones, digestion, and more.

This allows the functions that your body performs over the course of its circadian rhythm to become optimally synchronized.

How does your circadian rhythm impact your immune system?

Your circadian rhythm impacts a lot of different functions within the body, such as your heart and lungs, and keeps them functioning as they should. When your circadian rhythm gets out of whack, the organs that rely on the circadian rhythm become compromised, which in turn can weaken your immune system.

Because your circadian rhythm is tied to sleep, a disrupted circadian rhythm can affect your quality of sleep. Your sleep affects your immune system, so the less sleep you get or the lower quality your sleep is, the more likely it is that your immune system could be compromised. You’ll be at a higher risk for contracting viruses and other illnesses.

How can you regulate your circadian rhythm to improve your immune system?

Your circadian rhythm is affected by light and dark, so the first step to strengthening your immune system is to make sure you’re exposing yourself to the right light at the right time of day. This means bright blue light (like the light from our Charge Up bulbs) in the morning and during the day to keep you alert, and warmer, more sunset-like light (like the light from our Wind Down bulbs) in the evening to help you relax. For an all-in-one solution that provides both the cool, energizing light of morning and the warm, relaxing light of evening, we recommend one of our Get in Sync fixtures.

To help maintain this exposure to light, Brilli’s Charge Up bulbs are ideal for darker rooms that don’t receive a large amount of direct sunlight throughout the day. They also work well as task lights to enhance your workspace and keep you focused. For rooms where you spend a lot of time in the evening, Brilli’s calming Wind Down bulbs can be used to help you unwind in the evening. This can help trigger the production of melatonin, which allows your body to relax and prepare for sleep.

Additionally, be sure to avoid blue light at night which can inhibit the release of melatonin and other hormones that cause your body to feel sleepy. Besides being aware of your light exposure, you should also aim to exercise daily and eat a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables to keep your immune system strong.