5 Tips for Improving Your Circadian Rhythm
Are you feeling tired and groggy all the time, even though you're getting enough sleep? It could be that your circadian rhythm is out of whack and you're not getting enough quality sleep. Our bodies have an internal clock that regulates our sleep-wake cycle, known as the circadian rhythm.
When it is functioning properly, we feel alert and energized during the day and sleepy at night. But when it's off, it can lead to all sorts of sleep problems, from insomnia to fatigue. In this post, we will be discussing 5 scientifically backed tips to improve your circadian rhythm and achieve better sleep and overall well-being.
What Is Circadian Rhythm?
Circadian rhythm is the body's natural timing device that controls the sleep-wake pattern and other vital functions. It runs on a 24-hour cycle and is controlled by a "pacemaker" inside the brain's hypothalamus.
The circadian rhythm is negatively impacted by external stressors like light and temperature and internal indicators like hormone levels. A healthy circadian rhythm regulates the sleep-wake cycle, hormone levels, and other biological factors, which can contribute to better sleep, improved overall mood, and a more powerful immune system.
How to improve your circadian rhythm?
1. Create a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Are you someone who tends to skimp on sleep during the week and catch up on the weekends? It can be detrimental to your internal clock and create a sleep deficit. With the current work-from-home scenario, you have the chance to establish a consistent sleep schedule every day.
If you love working at night, use it to your advantage by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. It will help your body adjust to the new rhythm. Set your alarm for the same time each morning and opt for short naps in the afternoon for 10-20 mins to refresh yourself. Maintaining a consistent wake-up time can help structure your daily routine and ultimately lead to better sleep.
2. Avoid Taking Stimulants or Alcohol Before Going to Bed
Do you have trouble sleeping without a cup of coffee? Do you like to enjoy a nightcap before bed? Or maybe you smoke or vape? Did you know that these behaviors might interfere with your sleep-wake cycle and make it challenging for you to fall asleep?
Your afternoon coffee could be shifting your circadian rhythm. Experts found that caffeine interacted directly with your adenosine receptor, which increases the intracellular messenger molecule cyclic AMP. Cyclic AMP is a key player in the inner workings of your body clock. The study linked caffeine’s biochemical effects to its delay of the circadian rhythm.
3. Practice Relaxation Methods
Stress and anxiety can make it difficult to sleep and disturb your sleep-wake rhythm. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation are all relaxation practices that may help lower your stress and anxiety levels and increase sensations of peace and relaxation.
Deep breathing practices mean taking slow, deeper breaths while concentrating on emitting all the negative thoughts and energy out of your body. Your pulse rate should slow down, and you may feel a sense of inner happiness and peace.
Meditation is a therapy that entails directing your mind toward a specific image, subject, or task in order to gain mental clarity and peace.
Yoga is another relaxing practice that might help with stress and anxiety management. Yoga positions like child's pose and downward-facing dog are quite helpful in stretching up your stiff muscles and creating positivity in your body and mind while keeping you in great shape.
Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body to help release tension and promote relaxation.
It's all about experimenting and finding what works best for you, make it a daily routine before going to bed, and you'll be amazed at how much better you'll sleep.
4. Increase Daily Exposure to Direct Sunlight
Daily exposure to sunlight is essential for keeping a balanced circadian rhythm. The daylight alerts our bodies if it's time to get up and when to go to bed.
Walking, running, or riding a bicycle during the daylight are some ways to absorb daily natural light and get fresh ventilation. If you can't go outside, try sitting next to a window or keep your blinds up throughout the day to allow direct sunlight into your room.
5. Limit Exposure to Blue Light at Night
Blue light generated through gadgets like smartphones, tablets, and laptops has been shown to compromise with the formation of melatonin, which is a hormone that contributes to the regulation of the sleep-wake pattern.
By adding a blue light blocker on your smart devices, you may minimize your sensitivity to blue light during nighttime. Most gadgets have these protections in their settings, which could be activated in the evening at a specific time. You may also use software like f.lux, which effortlessly changes the brightness level of your phone's display to minimize the amount of blue radiation being released.
Another method to prevent blue light absorption during the night is to stop using your gadgets 1-2 hours before you sleep. It may minimize the impact on your body's normal melatonin generation and help you get a deep sleep.
In conclusion, taking steps to improve your circadian rhythm can have a significant impact on your sleep and overall well-being. Whether it is creating a consistent sleep schedule, incorporating relaxation techniques, or limiting exposure to blue light at night, it's important to experiment and find what works best for you.
Remember to make these habits a consistent part of your daily routine for the best results. With a little effort, and a helping hand from nutrition, you'll be on your way to better sleep and a healthier lifestyle.
We hope this has helped you on your quest for brain health. If you have any questions about our products, feel free to reach out to our team.