You might have heard of this thing called your circadian rhythm.
It’s very basically your body’s very own rhythm for the circle of life (queue Lion King music).
Back when we were hairy cave people, our body’s took queues from the sun and light about when to wake up, when to work and most importantly, when to sleep. It was all about homeostasis and helping our bodies understand their environments.
But now a days, the way we go about life is obviously a little different.
There are those 5am alarms to catch flights and 11pm dinners at otherwise-booked out restaurants mixed in with sleepless nights filled with blue-lit cellphones and days filled with ever-glowing computers. We’re in an age where our schedules are totally up to us.
However, our genetics have yet to catch up; our body’s still expect there to be some kind of day/night circadian rhythm. A wrecked circadian rhythm can lead to things like:
+ constant fatigue or poor sleep
+ less brain activity
+ poor hormone regulation (like melatonin)
+ appetite “errors” (thinking you’re hungry when you’re not)
But before you quit your browser in horror, I promise there’s no need to give up occasional dancing until 2am or break-of-dawn runs. After reading these super articles from Q and the Sleep Foundation, I came up with some ways get your circadian rhythm back in check.
+ Get a schedule.
This might sound like a laughable tip but having a regular wake up and bedtime can work wonders. And that doesn’t even mean having to go to sleep at 8 every night. I find that I feel 5x more at peace with my body when I wake up and go to sleep at the same time for a week; even if it’s going to bed at midnight and waking up at 7.
+ Exercise and eat during sun-lit hours.
Studies have shown that working out and eating after dark messes up your circadian rhythm. These studies were done on mice but….
+ Ah yes, time zones.
To combat the ruining effects of jetlag on your rhythm, there are two simple things you can do: try to adjust slowly before going and stick to a normal schedule once you’re there.
Overall, it’s pretty easy to fix your sleep schedule and get your groove back. If you’re wondering how much sleep you really need, check out my post about the possibility of too much sleep (it’s actually a thing!).
Have you ever heard of your circadian rhythm before? How do you keep your body happy?