Start the night before ladies. In the darkness. Get your circadian rhythm on! This is the latest suggestion by hormonal researcher Dr Felice Gersh.
Dr Felice who I saw speak at the Gut_Brain Symposium on 'Brain, GutHealth,
Chronobiology and Hormones' recently advocated that "we are programmed to be day people.. Estrogen sits on the optic nerve and it regulates our circadian rhythm. When circadiam rhythm dysfunction occurs it has links to depression and cognitive issues as nuero-inflammation ensues. We help entrain our system by eating at the same times, fasting at the same times and making sure we have melatonin production by having no blue light 2 hours before we sleep".
I recommend you use f.lux on Mac and Nightshift on your i-phone to get you sleepier earlier by following Dr Felices recommendation for reducing blue light. These options put a warm hue to your screens so they don't block melatonin production. I have even almost fallen asleep at the screen when it is warm on f.lux unlike the hyper-stimulation of the normal blue screen. And this strategy will help natural melatonin be produced rather than going and buying it at the health store! Prevention is better than cure.
A regular time to sleep also helps keeps your body chemistry in check, which in turn keeps your stress and inflammation down and assists in your abilty to be focussed the next day. You can also get on with the good stuff of being grateful, having sex, reading books and of course visualising your next best day. (let it float away in a bubble… goodnight).
Why else is following our chrono-biological clock great? It supports the other needs we know of having a buffer from work related stuff to bed time - because work can keep going on a loop in your mind and also because it triggers dopamine and its hormonal cascade which ends in adrenaline, a stress hormone. Allowing yourself time to do the other good stuff we love like cuddling kids to bed, connecting with friends, playing boardgames or doing puzzles or hobbies, making love (whether with yourself or a partner), reading books, journalling, prayer, gratitude lists.. these promote serotonin whose hormonal cascade goes to melotonin - the hormone that helps trigger sleep.
Have you tried to do deadlines and latenights when you have your period? It is hell right? If you know you want to work a little harder, some planning ahead can keep women in a better hormonal situation by knowing that when you are ovulating you have the best time for a long, hard day of productive work, when your system is at its most robust producing testosterone and our juicy energising hormones.
So, know when to end your day.
There will always be more work to do.
Set a time to leave and start to clear your desk and prioritise your day 15 mins before you leave. This sets you up for more effective work day as well as keep you in a more relaxed state when you are at home. If you have to work on your a screen at night enhance melatonin by lowering blue light.
And remember to switch channels when you head home so try to practice how you want home life to look mentally before you arrive there to help clear the previous interactions/brain pathways.
If you want support for your lifestyle design and creating rituals and habits that empower you as a busy, woman and mother get in touch. I love working with go-getter women who are making a difference in the world and looking after themselves as women.