Every time you read about tips and tricks that will help you sleep better, you are probably flipping through several articles that offer glasses blocking blue light, tracking sleep, technical starvation and sleep supplements. Have you ever wondered why?

Well, it’s about your internal clock. In particular, these products try to help you regulate or optimize your circadian rhythm, which can lead to better night’s sleep.

Your circadian rhythm is the inner “clock” that helps your body function, adapt and sleep. The two things that affect your circadian rhythm the most are the environment and light, according to Dr. Craig Heller, a professor of biology at Stanford, where his research focuses on sleep and circadian rhythms. And while controlling the environment and light around you seems a little difficult (read: impossible), there are definitely things you can do to reduce the risk of breaking your circadian rhythm more than necessary.

Keep reading to learn more about your circadian clock, how it works and what you can do to optimize it to sleep better.

Read also: The best ways to stay cool while you sleep

So what is your circadian rhythm?

For those who need a definition of circadian rhythm, this is yours the internal clock of the body which operates on a 24-hour cycle. This internal clock tells your body when you feel tired or awake all day. You’ve probably noticed that you have a pattern for when you feel most awake or energized and when you usually want to take a nap. The circadian rhythm is what drives this model, but not everyone has the same models.

Read more: The best white noise machines for better sleep

Your body has an “internal clock” system known as the circadian rhythm.

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“Circadian rhythms are internal cycles in many bodily systems and behaviors that have periodicity. “Circadian systems allow the body to anticipate future events (such as food), coordinate body functions (such as sleep and hormone release), and optimize physiological processes with respect for each other,” says Heller.

Since your circadian clock helps regulate many important processes in your body, it makes sense that breaking it is bad news for your sleep, and therefore for your overall health.

So what exactly disrupts your circadian rhythm the most? “Most often jet lag, shift work, bright light and especially blue light (computer and television screens) when it has to be dark, “says Heller. Another major circadian rhythm disorder is when you switch to daylight saving time.

What can you do to adjust your circadian rhythm if it is turned off?

Signs that your circadian clock is broken include problems falling asleep, feeling energized or connected at unusual times, or feeling super tired during periods of the day. One thing that can help you maintain your circadian rhythm is to try to stay consistent. time to sleep and wake upwhich is not always easy.

Here are some things to try if you think your circadian rhythm is off:

Maintain constant sleep and wake-up time: and try to keep it close to what you think is natural (ie don’t fight the fact that you are a night owl or early riser)

Get a light in the morning: Put sunlight in your eyes the first thing in the morning when you can. Getting light early in the day it tells your body it’s time to “wake up”.

Avoid bright light in the evening: As Heller said, light can affect your circadian rhythm, which is why avoiding bright lights in the evening and dimming your lights can make a difference.

Avoid blue light at night: Turn off the TV and other devices which emit blue light at least three hours before bedtime. If you can’t turn them off completely, install an app like F.lux or wear blue light or amber glasses to block the light.

A man walks through an airport terminal.

Traveling through time zones can disrupt your body’s internal clock.

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What to do if you travel through time zones or work night shifts

Sometimes your job or lifestyle forces you to do things that you know aren’t great for your sleep, but still want to get the most out of your situation. Activities such as working at night or traveling through time zones – especially when the time difference is more than a few hours – can really cause chaos in your sleep.

“It is assumed that you cannot avoid traveling through time zones or working shifts, so you can learn the best ways to retrain rhythms through appropriate exposure time and practice good sleep hygiene“says Heller.” Apart from circadian considerations, there are many other things you need to do to improve sleep, most effectively through thermoregulation to maintain temperature fluctuations of the body to maintain the continuity of sleep. “

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended for health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified medical professional about any questions you may have about your medical condition or health goals.


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