10 Surefire Ways to Improve Your Circadian RhythmAUTHOR: Kayla Matthews
Your circadian rhythm is a mix of personal sleeping habits and animal instinct. Our biology, or biological clock, tells us when to do certain things, sleeping included. In more scientific terms, circadian rhythm is the physical, mental and behavioral changes following your daily cycle, instinctually making you perform actions for your health.
Some people have an unhealthy circadian rhythm born of poor habits or biological differences. Changing your biological clock for the benefit of your health may take time and perseverance, but you can easily do it. Here are some basic tips and tricks to help you out.
1. A Protein-Rich Breakfast
Protein gives you strength and energy to get on with your day. If you’re a vegetarian or have hectic mornings, there are other options for you in the forms of protein-rich energy bars or simple changes to dietary plans.
2. Get Some Sun
Vitamin D straight from the sun is vitally important for your physical and mental health. Going outside for as little as 15 minutes every morning can help you wake up and feel refreshed. A full hour of sun in the morning will help you feel even better.
3. Exercise Daily
Not only is daily exercise good for you, raising your core body temperature and doing cardio can help you sleep better at night. If activity isn’t an option, using a sauna regularly can still be of use to you.
4. Lower Stress
A big reason many of us stay up late is stress, and lowering stress levels is easier said than done. Organizing and managing stress is a slow and achievable process. While some factors are out of our control, just changing your mindset can help improve your sleep.
5. Be Creative
Our creativity is most active when we are tired, according to a psychological study. Keeping a notebook by your bed or doing creative activities at night can reduce distractions later when you’re trying to sleep.
6. No Wi-Fi
Before you go to bed, make sure to turn the Wi-Fi off. Not only does being away from your smartphone reduce distractions and stress, but the light from the screen will throw off your circadian rhythm and keep you awake.
7. Set a Bedtime
The routine of your actions is what will change your circadian rhythm for good. Establishing a bedtime you will adhere to no matter what is essential. Always go to bed at the same time every night to get yourself used to sleep at the right time.
8. Sleep at Night
Extenuating circumstances exist, but night is the best time to sleep if you can. Try to go to bed early and wake up early, instead of sleeping through parts of daylight. An optimal time to go to bed is around 9 or 10 p.m. More than 55 percent of college students get less than the advised seven hours of sleep, so try to improve your timing.
9. Be Comfortable
Keeping your bedroom cool and clutter-free is the best way to help you sleep. Everyone finds comfort differently, but getting rid of unnecessary blankets, sounds or light can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
10. Sleep in Darkness
Whether your schedule allows you to sleep at night hours or not, sleeping in total darkness can help. Blackout blinds and facemasks are good investments, but only the tip of the iceberg. Your body sleeps better in darkness.
A diet change can help with sleep, such as more seafood, protein, carbs and fats. Removing distractions a few hours before bedtime can help your body feel ready to sleep. No food before bed and no supplements in the afternoon can help your body adjust. Yoga and getting rid of more artificial light in the evenings can also help.
If a poor circadian rhythm is affecting your daily life and none of these tips are helpful to you, consider speaking to a doctor for further advice.