Have you been suffering from social jetlag? that’s what scientists call when your sleep schedule is shifted like you’re living in a different timezone than your environment.
Sleep is one of the most important functions that our bodies need, it’s when our bodies get their ultimate level of rest and relaxation, and this is when they can get refreshed and recharged for the day ahead.
when your sleep is disrupted, your whole life is going to be disrupted, that’s for sure because sleep affects your ability to focus and interact with things and situations throughout the day, and it affects your ability to think clearly. It doesn’t matter whether that’s your job, with your friends or even with your family, your overall performance in every corner in your life is going to be low if your sleep is disrupted.
So to solve this problem you need to reset your circadian rhythm, but first, what is the circadian rhythm and how does it work …
What is the Circadian Rhythm and How Does it Work
The circadian rhythm is an internal clock that runs in the background of your mind, it’s rule is to organize your sleep/wake cycles, so when your cycle is shifted you get what is called social jetlag where you wake and sleep in a shifted cycle from your environment.
it consists of hormones that their role is to control your sleepiness/wakefulness, these hormones are melatonin, serotonin, cortisol and other hormones that affect how sleepy or wakeful you feel you are.
Here’s a list of hormones that are known to be affecting sleep:
- Cortisol & melatonin
Can You Change Your Circadian Rhythm
before we ask ourselves how to reset circadian rhythms lets first ask can you change it in the first place, and the answer is yes you can change your circadian rhythm.
The production of the hormones in your body is timed by things like lighting, noise, your environment in general, your consistency with your schedule and other factors that control the production of the hormones that make you fall asleep.
So, in order to make a change in the timing of the production of the hormones that affect sleep we need to change what we can control, which are the activities and habits that relate to sleep in one way or another which are also called sleep hygiene.
How To Reset Circadian Rhythm
In order to reset your circadian rhythm or your internal clock, you will need to have good sleep hygiene.
but what is sleep hygiene? you may ask.
and the answer is sleep hygiene is the habits and activities that you do that relates to sleep, such as your wake up time, napping, your exercise habits, and other things that affect sleep.
In order to reset your circadian rhythm you will need to adjust your sleep hygiene so you are not awake at the time you will be asleep. that means that you:
- don’t want to exercise close to bedtime, exercising early in the morining is the best time.
- don’t drink caffiene after noon, plenty of research have shown that caffiene stays in the blood stream for six hours
- have a consistent sleep schedule, your body tends to regulate itself so having a consistent sleep schedule will make the task of actually falling asleep easier.
- use the bed only for sleep, for the same reason as the previous point, when you only use the bed for sleep your body will prepare itself for sleep once you’re there.
- sleep in a sleep-friendly environment, means a dark room with no noise, melatonin production gets triggered by the abscense of light.
- get exposed to sunlight in the morning as much as you can, this will improve your daytime alertness and will help regulating your body clock.