Have you noticed that you seem to feel drowsy at the same time every day and more energized at other times? Have you noticed these times have shifted as the years go by? This is your circadian rhythm at work, and it changes with age.
What is Circadian Rhythm?
Circadian rhythm, also known as your sleep-wake cycle, is a 24-hour internal clock that regulates your sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. Your brain and body use this internal clock to sync to the natural rhythm of the earth (the 24-hour cycle usually links to the rising and setting of the sun). Syncing our bodies to the natural rhythm of the earth and knowing when it’s time to be alert and when it’s time to rest is very good for our physical and mental health.
As we live our modern-day lifestyles, it has become more difficult for us to manage our circadian rhythms. If you stay up too late, rarely go outdoors or exercise, frequently use your smartphone or other technological devices, or have unhealthy eating habits (just to name a few), you are disrupting your circadian rhythm. Disturbances in your internal clock will cause your body to be out of sync, which could have negative impacts on your health.
How to Hack It:
Fortunately, there are ways to control how your 24-hour clock operates. Here are some tips and tricks to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm to help you get better sleep and feel more alert throughout the day:
Develop good sleep hygiene. It’s important to try to regulate your sleep to improve your circadian rhythm. Here are some ways to do so:
- Maintain a consistent sleep/wake schedule (go to bed/wake up at the same times, even on the weekends)
- Avoid usage of caffeine in the evenings
- Make sure your room is quiet, dark, and free of electronics
- Go outside. Your biological clock relies heavily on natural light from the sun. Therefore, it’s important to expose yourself to natural light as much as you can. Not only can going outdoors help regulate your sleep-wake cycle, it can also improve your mental health and well-being.
Manage your stress and mental health. Decreased stress levels can go a long way for regulating your body and helping you relax at night/feel awake during the day. Here are some tips on how to manage stress:
- Exercise regularly (in the morning if you can, as exercising too late at night will result in higher energy levels at bedtime)
- Try meditating for 10-20 minutes each day
- Decrease your daily caffeine intake
Develop healthy eating habits—Wakefulness and restfulness are associated with the timing of digestion and metabolism, so how you eat and what you eat have a big impact on your internal clock. Here’s some tips on healthy eating to help regulate your circadian rhythm:
- Eat at set times throughout the day
- Avoid eating/snacking at least three hours before bedtime
- Eat most of your calories in the morning or afternoon.
5. Use BedJet Biorhythm Sleep Technology. With BedJet's custom sleep temperature settings, you can pre-program optimal sleep temperatures for each hour of the night so you you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. It's a way to hack your body's natural circadian rhythm based on sleep science.
With these tips, you can regulate and improve your body’s internal clock, leading to increased productivity during the day and more restful sleep at night. To learn about sleep disorders associated with poor circadian rhythm, click here.
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