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Tips to Manage Circadian Rhythm

The circadian rhythm is often referred to as our body clock because it is the body’s innate timing device. This natural internal clock is affected by environmental cues, primarily light but also temperature. The circadian clock orchestrates many aspects of human physiology, and disruption of this clock has been implicated in various pathologies, ranging from cancer to metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Although there is evidence that metabolism and the circadian clockwork are intimately linked on a transcriptional level, whether these effects are directly under clock control or are mediated by the rest–activity cycle and the timing of food intake is unclear.

Here are a few ways in which you can manage your circadian rhythm :

  • Keep a Routine : The best way you can support your natural circadian rhythm is to keep a routine. As much as possible, go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. Unfortunately, this also means ditching your Sunday sleep in.
  • Avoid Artificial Light After Sundown : The light emitted from our computers, phones, TVs, and even fluorescent light bulbs can interfere with our body clocks by tricking the body into thinking it is daytime. Try dimming the lights in the evening and having a technology free period before bed.
  • Natural Light Exposure : Get as much natural light as you can during the day, articularly in the morning. Open the windows, eat lunch outside, go for a short walk, take the window seat on the train or work outside.
  • Physical Activity : Physical activity is another cue for your body clock that it is time to be awake. So, get your large joints moving in the morning with some exercises or stretches.
  • Eat During Daylight : Digestion & Metabolism play a role in maintaining your circadian rhythm. He says that ideally, we should be eating during daylight and fasting when it is dark outside.
  • The Right Foods : Certain foods that send conflicting cues to your body clock are best avoided in the afternoon and evening. These include caffeinated drinks, alcohol, foods high in saturated fats, and sugary food and drinks.
  • Get Enough Sleep : Finally, get enough sleep to keep your circadian rhythm in check. For most adults this is at least 7 hours of sleep.

A circadian rhythm disorder is defined as a persistent or recurrent pattern of sleep disturbance primarily caused by alterations in the circadian timekeeping system or a misalignment between the endogenous circadian rhythm and exogenous factors that affect the timing or duration of sleep. Connect with your physician for more details.

23 replies »

    • I am glad you found it helpful to share with your daughter. Reflecting the sun’s natural movement in a 24-hour orbit around the earth, your body’s circadian rhythm has a 24-hour cycle. Over the course of those hours, your energy levels grow and drop multiple times, making you feel wired at certain points and sleepy at others. But your circadian rhythm doesn’t operate in a vacuum—it is guided by variables including light exposure and your mealtime schedule. And that’s good news since these are factors you can alter, thereby gaining some control over your internal clock.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thank you for sharing this interesting information. Eating out of sync with your circadian rhythm can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and being overweight. But by aligning your food with your circadian rhythm, you can help maximize weight loss, energy and overall health.

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    • Welcome. I am glad you liked the concept and post. Natural factors within the body produce circadian rhythms. However, signals from the environment also affect them. The main cue influencing circadian rhythms is daylight. This light can turn on or turn off genes that control the molecular structure of biological clocks. Changing the light-dark cycles can speed up, slow down, or reset biological clocks as well as circadian rhythms.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Candle light enhances the production of melatonin. Melatonin is secreted in the evening by the brain’s pineal gland, usually starting several hours before sleep occurs. Bright light stops production. While melatonin isn’t required for sleep you can doze off on a sunny beach you have a more natural sleep cycle, and potentially better-quality shut-eye, when you’re in sync with your body clock,

      Liked by 1 person

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