Do You Work in a Sensory Deprivation Tank?

Does your body have access to cues about natural rhythms during the day and night?  Ever wonder why a day outside in Central Park or Yosemite National Park feels so good? A day of skiing? Your body is craving cues to try to attach to natural rhythm, sometimes talked about as circadian rhythm.  I can't understand how access to sunlight is not included among our basic human rights and labor laws.  I know that this country has come a long way since the industrial revolution, but many workplaces - from meat packing plants to office settings - still do not afford their workers sunlight or at least windows.  What does this mean for the bodies of the people in these working conditions? Bodies sense natural light (sunlight) and rely on that clock to regulate sleep, menstrual cycle, and hormone release.  I'm going to be so bold as to suggest that disruption of circadian rhythm contributes to many "career women's" infertility struggles.  Of course, there are many women who work in settings without access to natural sunlight rhythms who have no trouble getting pregnant, but I believe that this could be a serious contributing factor for a significant amount of women.

This post isn't only doom and gloom. We can't all work for Outward Bound and live completely in concert with nature, so here are some suggestions for leading the life of a "regular Joe or Josephine" and giving your body what it needs:
1. Start a garden
2. Leave your building for lunch and walk on the sunny side of the street
3. Walk or bike instead of driving whenever possible
4. Go to a Japanese garden before, during, or after work (especially easy if you live in San Fran, Portland, or Seattle)
5. If you drink caffeine, create a regular time during the day when your body knows to expect it, instead of ad hoc caffeine drinking
6. Exercise first thing in the morning
7. Have several plants at your desk and in your home
8. Grill outside for dinner and set up some patio furniture (my family loves to eat outside on our patio)
9. Don't ever skip lunch
10. Set up outdoor activities - badmintonbocce, tree swing, hammock, etc.


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