Understanding Your Body’s Internal Clock and How to Sleep Better
This week, people everywhere turned their clock forward, losing an hour of sleep. Unfortunately, this time change has left many people feeling like they haven’t slept well in weeks even after a full eight hours of rest. If you have been feeling tired since the time shift, there are some things you can do to restart your circadian rhythm.
Understanding Your Circadian Rhythm
The circadian rhythm is the body’s internal system that is designed to regulate the feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness over a 24-hour period. This complex cycle is controlled by an area of the brain that responds to light. This part of the brain explains why people are more alert while the sun is shining and ready for bed when it gets dark outside. The circadian rhythm causes the level of wakefulness to rise and dip throughout the day. These dips cause people to feel sleepy at different times during the day and more alert at other times. If your body’s natural cues regarding when to wake up and go to sleep are off, your circadian rhythm may not be balanced. This imbalance could come from an adjustment in your sleep schedule, a disruption in sleep, or not getting enough sunlight. But there are some ways you can restart this internal clock.
Restarting Your Sleep Schedule
If you are experiencing trouble with your body’s internal clock, there are some things you can do to get back on track. The first way to restart your circadian rhythm is to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Remember how you thought your parents were so mean for making you stick to a “bedtime”? Having a regular bedtime will allow you to get enough sleep every night. Skip sleeping in on the weekends. While the weekends might seem like the perfect time to catch up on sleep, sleeping in could throw off your body’s clock even more. Another thing you can do to reset your body’s clock is to take a walk in the mornings. Exposure to the sun will help to boost your energy and reset the circadian rhythm. You can also help reduce bright lights in the evening hours. At night, bright lights can trick your brain into thinking it is still daylight outside even when it is night. Artificial blue lights from laptops, tablets, and cell phones can trick your brain and keep you awake. Powering down tech devices at least two to three hours before bed can reset the internal clock and help you sleep at night.
Resetting your internal clock can help you get a better night’s rest and help you focus during the day. For more information on resetting your internal clock and getting your circadian rhythm back on track, visit Pain and Spine Specialists today!
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