The ‘Riviera’ in Your Living Room

The Riviera in your living room

Light

We hear a great deal about Climate Change and how our human activities have been altering global temperatures, weather patterns, and ice caps. These changes are likely to have long-term implications, but there is a different kind of climate change that is having a dramatic near-term impact on our health.

Human ingenuity has allowed us to engineer the climate in our homes to perpetual summer. But “the ‘eternal summer’ provided by central heating and artificial lighting could be damaging our immune systems and leaving people open to illness and early death”, according to research published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B late last year and reported in The Daily Telegraph. It turns out that not only do we have biological processes that are ‘wired’ to the pattern of day and night, nearly a quarter of our genes show signs of a seasonal variation. They actually produce different proteins during different times of the year, proteins that act to regulate physiological processes. These genes respond to changes in temperature as well as changes in the length of day – the very differences that we erase by creating the ‘Riviera’ in our living rooms.

The result is a dampening of the seasonal behaviour of those genes, contributing to obesity and impacting the immune system, leading to increased inflammation and decreased immunity. Think arthritis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and resistance to infections. The message is clear: the further we get disconnected from the Earth’s natural rhythms, the more misaligned our bodies get with how we were designed to best function and heal.

So what do we do about this? Go back to living in unheated, unlit homes? That would, of course, be one option but not one that most people would sign up to. We do, after all, like our comforts and conveniences. A more palatable option is to turn down the heating a few degrees in winter (and reducing the air conditioning in summer) and to spend at least some time outdoors each day so that our bodies experience the seasonal changes. The second thing we can do is to reduce the degree of artificial lighting we use after sunset, and replace the current craze for bright LED lights with low-blue-light options. This will have the immediate effect of helping to restore proper circadian signaling in the brain and deeper, healing sleep.

A nice side effect will be the reduction of energy usage and costs, but that is not the primary purpose. Reversing disease is. Regaining our health and vitality is. Shedding that extra weight is. When put in that perspective, changing the thermostat a few degrees and dimming the lights is a pretty small inconvenience! Let your body (and your spirit) discover the seasons again.

About the Author

Dr. Gerilynn Moline is the owner of Evolutionary Reboot®, an educational business based on the principles of evolutionary health and nutrition. Through workshops and coaching, she teaches people how to reverse chronic illness and early ageing by realigning their environment to their biology, allowing the body's natural healing process to work.

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