“Everything in life cannot happen at once”. This is true when it comes to our experiences in the world and even when it comes to our bodies. We certainly cannot sleep and wake up at the same time, nor can we to do round-the-clock eating. The body also needs its due share of rest and repair. So, it works on a set clock called the Circadian Rhythm. In this article, learn all you need to know about your body’s natural rhythm and the concept of circadian cycle in Ayurveda. 


What is the Circadian Cycle?

Thanks to the Nobel prize winners of 2017 for three scientists who discovered this day-night cycle, Circadian Rhythm has come to popular notice. This cycle is fundamental to your body’s activities. This 24-hour rhythm programs each and every hormone, brain signal and digestive enzyme in your body to peak at a certain point of the day and plummets down subsequently.

It is like an inbuilt schedule for different organs to do different things at the stipulated time and all these timing mechanisms put together to form the circadian rhythm. It is not just limited to sleep time, it affects other systems too. Circadian clocks are present in every organ and cell indicating your brain to go to sleep, gut to digest food, heart to pump more blood and slow down.


Circadian Cycle in Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, the circadian clock is broken down to two 12-hour cycles that are further three 4-hour cycles. Each of these 4-hour cycles is linked to certain bodily functions that are governed by three prime doshas of your body – Vatta, Pitta and Kapha. The Circadian rhythm constitutes of these cycles and the key to unlocking a healthy living according to Ayurveda.


First 12 Hours – 6 am. To 6 pm.

6 am to 10 am – Kapha 

This period signifies growth and nourishment. The body is at is the strongest peak so this is the best time to do your exercise. Since kapha can also make you groggy and sluggish, you should avoid sleeping at this time and wake up before sunrise. Or else you feel duller despite having more sleep.

In addition, it has been proved that the morning light is rich in blue-light sensing protein called melanopsin. This activates the brain clock and increases alertness making you feel less lazy or depressed.

10 am to 2 pm – Pitta 

This is the time of highest transformation and metabolism. Your digestive fire is at its peak, so you need to eat your biggest meal of the day during this time. If you fail to eat a quality meal at this time, you will have a drop in energy levels craving more sugar or caffeine to give you a boost.

A study published in Cell Metabolism has found that pre-diabetic patients who were restricted to eat during a 6-hour window or a regular 12-hour eating schedule improved insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and oxidative stress.

2 pm. To 6 pm. – Vata 

This is the time for greater mental and creative energy. Since Vata activates your nervous system, if you have eaten well earlier, you will experience a surge in mental activity with greater focus and space for creative ideas. According to a book called Circadian Code, your fastest reaction times have been shown to occur at about 3.30 pm.

This is the best time to study, work on those assignments or projects and then gradually slow it down as sunset approaches to undertaking quieter reflective activities like meditating, praying, etc.


Second 12 Hours – 6 am. To 6 pm.

6 pm. to 10 pm. – Kapha

This is the time to unwind and prepare yourself for sleep. Your melatonin levels peak, cortisol levels drop inducing sleep. Having a light meal before you hit the sacks is very crucial to let your digestive system rest as well.

Don’t resist sleep and stay up late night as you will enter the next cycle which will make sleep elusive and of poorer quality.

10 pm. to 2 am. – Pitta

Again metabolism is at its peak, but it doesn’t mean you can munch a late night snack. This is the time where your liver is working to clear out the toxins from your body. If you are constantly up during this time it can disrupt the liver detox function.

Your mind is also laid to rest as it digests the experiences and emotions encountered during the day. If you take more food, stimulants or alcohol during the time, it translates to more workload for the body and in the long run will lead to liver problems.

2 am. To 6 am. – Vata

The nervous system gets a head start at this time with Vata at its peak. If you have followed the natural cycle, then you can wake up naturally before or around sunrise. You will find yourself having more energy and vigor to get through your day.

This special time offers us clear qualities with greater mental space and peace.


Optimize your Day with the Organic Circadian Cycle

Connect your inner clocks with nature’s natural cycle of the Circadian rhythm to conquer your health and well being. The Circadian rhythm has untapped potential that will help you prevent and manage chronic diseases.

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