How to Reset Your Circadian Rhythm to Improve Your Sleep
The human body’s 24-hour cycle is known as the circadian rhythm and is orchestrated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that regulates anxiety and directs daily rhythms like body temperature and the release of hormones like melatonin and cortisol).
It is a process that has been described as the body’s internal clock. It regulates sleep, feeding, and hormone secretion, as well as bone density and heart rate. Some people think that it is our internal clock that controls these functions. But as you can see from the research, internal clocks are as internal as a clock can be. In reality, it is our environment, as well as our genes, that influence how we function. This means that your sleep cycle is not a representation of your “true” sleep cycle.
When we are young, these rhythms are easily reset. As we age, our body’s ability to reset these rhythms may diminish. This can lead to sleep disturbances, sleepiness, and weight gain. Improved sleep is a great benefit of going to bed at a regular time, but going to bed too early can interfere with your sleep cycle. If you want to reset your circadian rhythm to help you fall asleep at a more reasonable time, try these suggestions:
- It’s a well-known fact that there is a clear correlation between the chemicals in our brains and our circadian rhythms. To regulate our internal clocks, our brains rely on a complex network of chemicals that are released into the body, and an internal biological clock controls these chemicals.
Our body is susceptible to disruptions due to jet lag, shift work, or other factors when it comes to sleep. This makes it difficult for many to maintain a consistent bedtime and wake time to reset their circadian rhythm. If you want to reset your circadian rhythm, it’s important to make sure you’re sleeping and waking at the same time every day. And if this isn’t happening in your favor, you may want to check with a reputed sleep doctor on how to reset your circadian rhythm.
- A circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock that cycles with the sunrise and sunset. People with shift work may feel like they’re always on shift (because they are). As a result, they may end up feeling tired and unmotivated during the day and crave bright light and food late at night. This can leave us tired and under-productive, and we may wonder if there is a way to reset the body’s clock. The short answer is yes, there is a way to reset the body’s clock, and it is called sunlight. Standing under the sun is one of the many ways to reset your circadian rhythm. But the sun’s rays are not the only light source that can do this. Artificial light can also play a role.
- The human body is enthralled by light and darkness. Our eyes and brains are programmed to react to light, and we need that light in our day and nighttime to function at our best. But the artificial light we emit from our bedroom and office windows and the light we turn on when we get home can be detrimental to our sleep and health.
When you’re in bed at night, your brain naturally switches into a sleep mode. Activities that interfere with this process can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night, which in turn disrupts your biological clock. Dr. Sara Mednick, a professor at Harvard Medical School, has researched the impact of using your smartphone or watching TV after dinner on your sleep cycle. She recommends limiting screen time at night to reset your circadian rhythm-and possibly avoid jet lag.
- Waking up at a certain time every day affects the number of calories we burn and how we feel. A new study has found that if you exercise at night, it can help reset your body’s circadian rhythm affect weight loss and improve your mood and sleep. The study of 984 adults, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, showed that those who worked out at night burned more fat and ate less fat and sugar, with a greater reduction in the amount of fat in the liver.