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Tips To Reset Your Circadian Rhythm

Nina Ghamrawi, MS, RD, CDE
February 22, 2023
March 7, 2023

Circadian rhythm is the natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and other behavioral and physiological processes in us. It is basically, our internal "biological clock." It is influenced by many external cues, like light and temperature, and is actually quite sensitive. So what are you waiting for? Learn how to fix your circadian rhythm when it's off- watch the video!

Circadian rhythms are found in most living organisms, including animals, plants, and even some bacteria! It plays a vital role in helping organisms adapt to their environment and maintain a stable, consistent internal state. In humans, the circadian rhythm helps to regulate sleep patterns, weight, hormone production, and other bodily functions. Here are some things that are known to disrupt circadian rhythm:

  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Night-shift work
  • Exposure to bright light at night
  • Travel across time zones or jet lag

All these can upset your circadian rhythm, and have negative effects on health, weight, metabolism, and well-being.

What are Some Signs That Your Circadian Rhythm Is Off?

There are several signs that your circadian rhythm may be off balance, including:

  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Drowsiness or fatigue during the day
  • Difficulty concentrating or staying alert
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Changes in appetite or cravings for certain foods

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and they are persistent, it may be a sign that your circadian rhythm is out of balance.

How Do You Reset Your Circadian Rhythm?

There are several strategies that you can try to reset your circadian rhythm, which is the natural internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle of your body. Here are a few tips that may be helpful:

  1. Establish a consistent sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help to regulate your body's natural clock and improve the quality of your sleep.
  2. Make your sleep environment conducive to sleep: Create a cool, dark, and quiet environment for sleep. Use a comfortable bed and pillows, and consider using earplugs or a white noise machine to block out noise.
  3. Avoid screens before bedtime: The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep. Try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime.
  4. Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime: Both caffeine and alcohol can disrupt sleep, so it's best to avoid consuming them in the hours leading up to bedtime.
  5. Get regular exercise: Regular physical activity can help to improve sleep quality and regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Just be sure to avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime, as it can make it harder to fall asleep.
  6. Try relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation can help to calm the mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep.

It's also important to be patient and give yourself time to adjust to a new sleep schedule. It may take a few weeks for your body to fully reset its natural clock, so be persistent and give yourself time to adapt. If you continue to have difficulty sleeping or notice other changes in your health or well-being, it is a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional for further guidance.

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