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Clinical Corner: Circadian Rhythms

Circadian Rhythms and Essential Oils

Circadian rhythms are biological rhythms that occur in a roughly 24-hour cycle. They are present in most living organisms, including humans, and help to regulate various physiological processes such as sleep, hormone secretion, and metabolism.

The circadian rhythm is primarily controlled by a region of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which is located in the hypothalamus. The SCN receives input from light-sensitive cells in the retina, and it uses this information to synchronize the body’s internal clock with the external environment.

Disruptions in circadian rhythms can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

– People who work night shifts or rotating shifts can experience disruptions in their circadian rhythms because their sleep-wake cycles are out of sync with the natural 24-hour cycle.

– Traveling across time zones can also disrupt the circadian rhythm because the body’s internal clock is no longer synchronized with the external environment.

– Exposure to bright light at night can suppress the release of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, and interfere with the circadian rhythm.

– The circadian rhythm tends to become less robust as people age, which can lead to sleep disturbances and other issues.

– Some people may have genetic variations that affect their circadian rhythms, making them more susceptible to disruptions.

– Certain medical conditions, such as sleep disorders, mood disorders, and neurological disorders, can also disrupt the circadian rhythm.


Disruptions in the circadian rhythm can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

– Sleep disturbances can cause disruptions in the circadian rhythm can lead to difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or waking up too early.

– People with disrupted circadian rhythms may feel excessively tired or sleepy during the day, even after getting a full night’s sleep.

– Circadian rhythm disruptions can lead to mood changes, including irritability, anxiety, and depression.

– People with disrupted circadian rhythms may have difficulty focusing or concentrating on tasks.

– The circadian rhythm is closely linked to the digestive system, and disruptions in the rhythm can lead to digestive problems such as indigestion, bloating, and constipation.

– Disruptions in the circadian rhythm can lead to changes in metabolism, including increased insulin resistance, weight gain, and increased risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

– There is some evidence to suggest that disruptions in the circadian rhythm may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.


Single Oils:

Blue Lotus, White Lotus, Pink Lotus, Ginger Lily

Sustained Inhalation 3 to 15 breathing cycles 

Body Awareness

Spinal Awareness

Brain Awareness

Mind Awareness (arising thoughts)