circadian rhythms are in a Nutshell, How the Body Keeps time. Your 24-hour sleep-wake cycle is known as your circadian rhythm. Along with other things, light and darkness have an impact on circadian rhythm. In response to cues from your environment, your brain changes your body’s temperature, activates specific hormones, and controls your metabolism to either keep you awake or put you to sleep. Some people may develop circadian rhythm disturbances as a result of environmental influences or sleep issues. You can adapt to your body’s natural rhythms better by upholding healthy behaviors.
HOW DO CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS WORK?
Your body’s circadian rhythm is made up of a number of elements. It is one of the body’s four biological rhythms.
Cells in your body
First, light and dark affect brain cells. Your eyes detect environmental changes and trigger cells to sleep or wake up.
These cells send additional impulses to other brain regions, activating mechanisms that make you tired or alert.
Circadian rhythms affect melatonin and cortisol levels. Melatonin, a sleep hormone, is released at night and suppressed throughout the day. Morning cortisol boosts alertness.
Your circadian rhythm also includes your body’s temperature and metabolic rate. Your body temperature decreases while you sleep and increases when you are up. Your metabolism also operates at various rates throughout the day.
Your circadian rhythm may also be influenced by other things. Your job hours, physical activity, stress, and anxiety levels, as well as other habits or lifestyle decisions, may cause your rhythm to change.
Your circadian rhythm is also influenced by your age. Different circadian rhythms are experienced by adults, adolescents, and infants.
WHAT ELEMENTS CAN AFFECT CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS?
When your daily demands and internal clock conflict, it might be difficult to follow your circadian rhythm. This can possibly be due to the:
• evening or early morning Work unpredictable hours or shifts that conflict with the natural light and dark of the day.
• trip including passage through one or more different time zones
• a way of life that promotes staying up late or getting up early
• stress-related mental health issues
• poor sleep habits: lack of a regular sleep schedule, late eating and drinking, screen
time too close to bedtime
RESETTING YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHM
Your circadian cycle could be disturbed, but you can get it back on track. Following are some pointers for encouraging a wholesome 24-hour schedule:
• Try to follow a schedule every day.
• Spend time outside during the day to increase your alertness.
• Get enough exercise every day; 20 minutes or more of aerobic activity is typically advised.
• Sleep in a room with good lighting, a relaxing temperature, and a firm mattress to encourage rest.
• Avoid using tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol after dinner.
• Before going to bed, turn off all of your devices and try something else, like reading a book or doing some meditation.
• Avoid taking naps in the late afternoon or evening.
Your body maintains a 24-hour body clock naturally through your circadian rhythm, which supports the maintenance of a regular sleep–wake cycle. You can preserve this vital organ of your body by leading a healthy, active lifestyle that encourages adequate rest.
If you have persistent trouble falling asleep or are excessively tired during the day, consult a doctor to learn how to re-establish your circadian rhythm and receive the rest you need.