Control Your Circadian Rhythm with two simple steps
It will be of no shock to you that sleep is incredibly important to our health. You feel better during your day if you sleep more and feel worse if you sleep less, right? But it turns out that a good night’s sleep is much more important than your energy level. Recent research by sleep scientist Matthew Walker has uncovered a plethora of negative health effects of poor sleep including cancer, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and poor mental health.
Our sleep cycle, our “circadian rhythm,” is incredibly important to our quality of sleep. When it is thrown out of whack it can take us much longer to fall asleep and induce a poorer quality of sleep than if we had gone to sleep naturally.
Fortunately, there are two easy ways to take control of your circadian rhythm and get better sleep.
Cut out the Blue Light:
We are exposed to unnatural levels of high energy, blue light because of our exposure to so many digital devices. That last peek at Instagram or the episode of your favorite show you just can’t miss are having a detrimental impact on your sleep, though! Blue Light is the highest energy range of light that the human eye can see, and its most abundant natural source it the sun. The pineal gland in the brain registers the Blue Light from your digital devices as daylight and ceases the production of melatonin.
- Stop the usage of all digital devices 30 minutes to an hour before bed. Read a book or listen to a podcast instead.
- Consider wearing sleep-optimized blue light filtering glasses if you must use a digital device.
- You can actually simulate sunset in your bedroom by using low-blue light bulbs.
Take Control of Your Habit Cycle:
As denoted by its name, the circadian rhythm is just that– a rhythm. It operates best when it runs in a consistent pattern. This is why people experience jet lag. Their body is preparing for sleep because to the brain, it’s time to go to bed, no matter how much sleep they had on the plane!
- Try to keep as consistent of a sleep schedule as possible. If you look at your daily routines you can probably choose an optimal pattern. If you can go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, yes, even on weekends.
- Create a consistent routine before going to bed. This is often called “sleep hygiene.” By giving your brain cues that you are preparing for bed it will start the cycle on time every night. Things like having a ritual of reading a book or listening to music, having a cup of herbal tea can cue the brain it’s time to sleep.
By taking control of your circadian rhythm you can make sure you’re falling asleep more quickly and sleeping more deeply! Take care of your health and boost your daily energy and productivity by giving these tips a try!