Have you ever stayed awake at midnight and not being able to go back to sleep again? Or getting sleep but not feeling refreshed by it?
You might experience circadian rhythm disorder.
You should have questions about what circadian rhythm disorder is and how to fix it. Don’t worry, the following article will reveal the answer for you.
- Circadian Rhythm Basics: Body’s internal clock regulates sleep-wake patterns with melatonin signaling sleep.
- Jet lag, shift work, and mental health issues disrupt the 24-hour sleep cycle.
- To fix circadian rhythm, create a comfy sleep space, practice relaxation, limit daytime naps to under 30 minutes, exercise regularly, and have an early dinner for improved digestion.
The Link Between Circadian Rhythm And Sleep
Understanding the link between circadian rhythm and sleep is like knowing the body clock for rest. Your circadian rhythm is a 24-hour internal cycle that regulates sleep-wake patterns. It’s like a built-in schedule telling your body when it’s time to be active and when it’s time to wind down. This rhythm may be influenced by factors like light and darkness. When it gets dark, your body produces a hormone called melatonin, signaling that it’s time to sleep. Learning about this connection can help you create a sleep routine that aligns with your body’s natural rhythm, promoting better and more restful sleep.
What Is Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder?
Simply to say, your internal clock rotates between sleep and wakefulness throughout the day. This 24-hour sleep-wake cycle is known as our circadian rhythm, which plays a vital role in our sleep cycle.
In addition to sleep, this rhythm helps regulate body temperature, eating and digestion, and hormonal activity. A healthy person usually wakes up in the morning and becomes tired throughout the day, while a person with circadian rhythm disorder would have excessive daytime sleepiness.
Here are some common reasons that would cause the disruption of the circadian rhythm:
- Jet lag
You might experience jet lag after the flight which passes over multiple time zones, then feel daytime fatigue and temporary sleep disturbances. It would cause a person too much sleepiness or daytime alertness in the following days. However, it is usually not a serious problem if the person practices healthy sleep hygiene during the post-flight period.
People whose jobs require them to work partly or completely at night often experience shiftwork disorder, and they always lose one and four hours of sleep every 24 hours. This disorder can be dangerous because it increases the risk of accidents either at people’s workplace or on the road during a late-night or early-morning commute.
- Mental health disorder
People who have mental disease might experience irregular sleep-wake disorders. The fragmented sleep cycle of this disorder would yield periods of sleep that last for several hours. As a result, people with this disorder would frequently nap throughout the day.
How to Fix Circadian Rhythm Disorder?
So how to fix circadian rhythm disorder if it affects our sleep hygiene so much? Here are 5 tips for you to go back to a good night’s sleep.
1.Get a good sleeping environment
A comfortable and quiet sleeping environment is vital for a good night’s rest. Loud, distracting noises would make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Therefore, you can create white noise to mask the environmental noise, such as the drowning fan or the air conditioner.
2. Practice relaxation
Try to focus on more calming activities to help you sleep better. When you’re stressed or anxious, your body produces more cortisol, and the higher the cortisol, the more awake you feel.
So, creating a relaxing bedtime ritual by practicing relaxation, such as yoga, stretching and meditation may help you reduce stress and its negative effects on sleep.
3. Avoid naps during the day
If you have an irregular sleep schedule, avoid long naps during the day, or you will make it difficult to go back to sleep at night again.
Long naps would cause grogginess, and if you must nap, try not to make it more than 30 minutes. It’d also better to nap before 3 p.m. so that your nighttime sleep would not be disrupted.
4. Get daily exercise
One of the best ways to reset your internal clock is to get daily exercise, which would help you sleep better by promoting melatonin production.
Technically, most of your tissues including our skeletal muscle are linked to your biological clock. So during the exercise, your muscle would respond to align your circadian rhythm.
5. Eat early
As we know, your sleep hygiene is closely linked to your eating habits. An early dinner can give your body enough time to digest the meal and help you to get used to a routine.
In conclusion, these 5 tips can help you fix the circadian rhythm disorder:
- Get a good sleeping environment
- Practice relaxation
- Avoid naps during the day
- Get daily exercise
- Eat early
Try a sleep app to adjust your circadian rhythm is also another good way for you, ShutEye can be your choice. Also, talk with your doctor if you suffer from severe syndrome, and a sleep specialist can guide you through the proper treatment.
You may also like:
What is a circadian rhythm?
Circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, body temperature, hormone levels, and other important bodily functions over a 24-hour period.
How do circadian rhythms work?
Circadian rhythms work through a complex interaction between internal biological processes and external cues such as light and temperature, signaling the body when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up.
What are common sleep disorders related to circadian rhythms?
Common sleep disorders related to circadian rhythms include delayed sleep phase disorder, advanced sleep phase disorder, irregular sleep-wake rhythm disorder, and shift work disorder.
What are the consequences of a disrupted circadian rhythm?
Circadian disruption can lead to poor sleep habits, impaired cognitive function, mood disturbances, and increased risk of certain health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
How can one improve sleep quality by understanding natural circadian rhythms?
Understanding circadian rhythm may help individuals optimize their sleep habits, aligning their sleep patterns with their body’s natural rhythm to promote better sleep quality and overall well-being.
What are some strategies for aligning with circadian rhythms for better sleep?
Strategies for aligning with circadian rhythms in the body include maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, exposing oneself to natural light during the day, limiting exposure to artificial light in the evening, and creating a restful sleep environment.
Can circadian rhythms be genetically influenced?
Yes, individual differences in circadian rhythms and susceptibility to circadian rhythm sleep disorders can be influenced by genetic factors, including variations in clock genes that regulate the body’s internal clock.
Why is it important to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm?
Maintaining a healthy circadian clock is crucial for overall health and well-being, as it supports optimal sleep, hormone regulation, metabolism, and immune function, among other essential physiological processes.
What role do circadian rhythms play in shift work disorder?
Circadian system play a significant role in shift work disorder, as irregular work schedules can disrupt the body’s natural sleep and wake cycle, leading to sleep disturbances, fatigue, and other health issues among shift workers.
What are some natural ways to support the body’s circadian rhythm?
Natural ways to support the body’s circadian rhythm include practicing regular exercise, managing stress levels, and following a healthy diet, all of which can contribute to better sleep and enhanced circadian rhythm regulation.