by Ann Marschel
Have you heard that when the sun rises, you should also rise? Or that when the sun sets, that is when you should go to sleep? This is a common saying because of something called the Circadian Rhythm. What is the Circadian Rhythm exactly? It is our bodies’ natural response to being alert and sleepy throughout the day. In other words, we have an internal clock that runs in the background and triggers times of alertness and sleepiness throughout a twenty-four-hour period. Both men and women have a Circadian Rhythm.
Now, have you ever heard of the Infradian Rhythm? The Infradian Rhythm is a rhythm that occurs longer than a day, such as the tidal waves, monthly menstruation or seasonally changes. For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on women and their infradian rhythm as it relates to their menstrual cycles.
Alisa Vitti, an expert in the female Infradian Rhythm, started her journey with many health problems. It was from these health issues that she had to make a choice: take lots of medication or be stuck with irregular cycles and possible infertility due to PCOS. She decided to do some of her own research and now, twenty years later, she has written two books about women’s health and has her own women’s health clinic.
Once Alisa took her own health into her hands, she found that she was not the only one dealing with these unpleasant symptoms and health concerns. In fact, research has proven that over 50% of women currently struggle with hormonal issues. That is a lot of women!
There are many factors that play into these hormonal imbalances. One factor Alisa discovered was that each woman has an Infradian Rhythm. She realized that if women would know about this and utilize the components of how their bodies naturally respond to different elements throughout their cycle, women could excel in their health rather than struggling with it.
Diet, Exercise, and Sleep
There are many diet fads out in our world today. In Alisa’s book she touches on many of them, including Paleo, Keto, and Intermittent Fasting. Overall, no matter what type of diet you are on, the Infradian Rhythm allows a woman to know what she should eat.
Each woman’s metabolism changes dramatically throughout her cycle. For the first half of the cycle, a woman’s metabolism is slower. Women don’t need as many carbohydrates. This is a time when women can cut their caloric intake and do more intense physical workouts to acquire leaner muscle mass metabolically. This is also a good time for women to get up earlier in the morning to work out.
After ovulation, a woman’s metabolism speeds up. This is the time for a woman to eat complex carbohydrates to keep blood sugar stable. A woman should also vary her exercise routine and do less intense exercise in the later part of her cycle. If a woman uses high intensity interval training the last part of the cycle, it will turn on fat storage and turn on muscle wasting. This is also a good time for women to get up 30-60 minutes later in the morning. Allowing for gentle movement when waking up and keeping the heavier workout for later in the day is the best plan. Women also need more rest after ovulation.
Overall, Alisa states it’s not the what, but it’s the when. Utilizing this knowledge of the Infradian Rhythm and how a woman’s cycle correlates with her brain and the other functions of her body will allow her to improve and sustain her health. Putting the above strategies in place will allow a woman more sustained energy throughout the month. Ultimately, it will help her utilize and be efficient with her body and how it is designed.
*Information about the Infradian Rhythm was taken from this podcast/article with Alisa Vitti https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/what-is-our-infradian-rhythm as well as this YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=166NrR5A7Ng . Alisa also has written two books titled Women Code: Perfect Your Cycle and In the FLO: Unlock Your Hormonal Advantage and Revolutionize Your Life.
BOMA-USA provides education and training for The Billings Ovulation Method® which is a natural method of fertility management that teaches you to recognize the body's natural signs of fertility.