Our bodies love routine and they naturally follow patterns. Circadian rhythm is nothing but the daily fluctuations in our body – be it temperature, alertness, blood pressure or melatonin.
You might have noticed that you feel sleepy at a certain time every day, while cannot really go to sleep even if you try at other times. This sleep-wake circadian rhythm is essential for our well-being.
A disturbed circadian rhythm can affect our quality and quantity of sleep leaving us with a constant feeling of tiredness and exhaustion. If left unchecked, this can further lead to severe health problems such as high level of triglycerides, higher rates of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and undesirable changes in metabolism.
Who thought lack of sleep can have such adverse effects on our health! Thus, it is important to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm and in turn, synchronise the body’s master clock for better health and longer life.
Maintain fixed bed and wake up times
Try to maintain a fixed timing for going to bed and also keep an alarm on for a particular time to wake up every day (ideally, weekends should also not be an exception!). A maximum of half hour fluctuation in the sleep and wake-up times is still tolerable for maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm.
Early to bed and early to rise!
It’s an ancient practice to wake up and fall asleep with the sunrise and sunset. The simple reasoning behind this is that our bodies are naturally wired to be energised with the sunlight. So, try to call it a night after evening, and wake up fresh with the sun the next day for the optimum circadian rhythm!
Be mindful of rhythm “disruptors”
In today’s modern lifestyle, it is easy to get twined with rhythm “disrupters”, which can delay your natural sleep-wake inclinations. Here are some of them to avoid:
- Avoid spicy or heavy meals closer to bedtime.
- Consume caffeine in the earlier part of the day.
- Do not take your laptop or work to bed.
- Avoid watching television or videos on any screen in the bedroom.
- Do not take frequent naps in the day, especially if you have sleep problems.
Have a bedtime routine that will you ease you into your sleeping mode such as warm bath, herbal tea or some warm milk.