With increased screen time and high stress in today’s society, many people have difficulty falling and staying asleep. Many times this is because the circadian rhythm is out of balance. The circadian rhythm is part of your body’s clock: it is the 24 hour cycle that dictates your rising and sleeping, and it has to do with melatonin production that helps you sleep, and darkness and light. Because of our modern schedules, it is easy for our circadian clock to be wrong. Jet lag and time changes, diet, and exercise affect your body’s circadian rhythm and those especially susceptible are business owners and entrepreneurs who have busy schedules and travel a great deal. But thankfully, there’s hope, and it is possible to reset your sleep clock. Here are eight tips to get your body’s circadian rhythm back on track.
Adjust your schedule in small increments
If you want to change your bedtime routines, you’ll have to begin by biting the bullet and getting to bed earlier, even if your body doesn’t take the hint right away. But make the adjustments in increments: start by heading to bed about fifteen minutes earlier than usual, and increase it in the days that follow.
Adding melatonin to your routine can be a huge aid in fixing your sleep cycle. It is a naturally occurring “sleep hormone” and could do wonders for your ability to fall asleep at night.
Could your napping be an issue?
If you are a frequent napper, this could be a huge culprit in terms of your quality of sleep at night. If you are consistently having issues getting long runs of healthy sleep at night, try to resist the urge to nap during the day and find healthy ways to perk up if you are fighting mid-afternoon sleepiness. Take a brisk walk around the block, the office or try and get active around the house.
Resist the snooze button
One of the best ways to maintain a regular circadian rhythm is to wake up at the same time every day. So fight the urge to sleep in, and keep your regular sleep schedule, even on days off.
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Not only are high fat, sugary foods bad for your overall health, they can contribute to poor sleep, especially if you are experiencing indigestion, heartburn, or upset stomach that keep you staring at the ceiling. Timing with foods is very important, too. Make sure you are done eating at least two hours prior to bedtime, so that you’ve given your body plenty of time to digest before you hit the hay.
Plenty of exercise
This one goes hand in hand with a healthy diet, but it does wonders to improve your sleep. Do not exercise too late in the day, though, as exercise gives you an energy boost and could make insomnia issues worse if your workout is too close to bedtime.
Reset your body clock by controlling your light intake: expose yourself to large amounts of light during the day, and reduce light once the sun goes down. There are light devices created specifically for light therapy, and can even improve mood, since people suffering with Seasonal Affective Disorder use them to find relief. Remember to taper your light exposure as the day goes on, and limit your use of electronics right before bedtime.
Take a camping trip
Experts discovered that spending a couple days in the great outdoors can recalibrate your body’s circadian clock and help you achieve better sleep. By spending all day in the sunshine, and avoiding any artificial light at night, participants in one study were able to reset their body’s sleep clocks in only a matter of days. Bad sleep affects many processes in our bodies: our appetite, fat storage, energy levels, and moods. Plan a family camping retreat to unwind and fix your body’s circadian clock.
If you feel that your body’s circadian rhythm is out of whack, try these tips to get it set right. Getting good sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body, and it will affect your mood, energy levels, and state of mind during all hours of the day. The first step to good sleep starts on a healthy, supportive mattress. Give us a call to discuss which of our mattresses would be a fit for you!