5 Steps to Reset Your Circadian Rhythm
“Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.” -Maya Angelou
I love this quote. Maya nailed it, too – EVERYTHING has a rhythm, even the individual cells in the body. The concept of cells having a rhythm may be new to you, however I’m sure you’ve heard of it – The Circadian Rhythm!
Circadian means about a day, and the circadian rhythm is a sequence of biological actions that happen within us each and every day. In fact, every living thing has a circadian rhythm – even plants and insects.
Most people associate the circadian rhythm with repetition of waking up and falling asleep in alignment with day and night. And while this is true, it is only a part of the story. The circadian rhythm is actually much more complex. It is an active 24-hour process happening at the cellular level to support energy production, bodily functions, and healing.
Every organ and cell in the human body has its own circadian clock. And they all work together, communicating with one another, to turn a variety of functions on and off at different times so that your hormones, neurotransmitters, and bodily functions all happen in a coordinated way. Think of it as your body’s way of knowing to do just the right thing at just the right time. Pretty cool, eh?
So, what happens when your circadian rhythm gets out of sync?
Well, a lot can happen, actually. In fact, a broken circadian rhythm contributes to pretty much every illness and disease, from ADHD and Anxiety to Infertility, Obesity, and Cancer.
A healthy circadian rhythm with consistent, deep sleep, is a key to slowing, reversing, and preventing disease in the body. If you are one of millions of adults who struggle with an illness, nurturing your circadian rhythm back to health is a great first step on your journey to improved sleep and recovery.
So how, exactly, does one “fix” their circadian rhythm?
Here are 5 steps to reset your Circadian Rhythm.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. The recommended amount of sleep each night for adults is between 7 and 9 hours. A key to achieving this is to choose it. Really. Humans are the only animals that choose not to sleep when tired. What are you choosing to do instead of going to sleep when you are tired? Take a look at this, examine the why, and start to shift your behavior towards choosing sleep.
- Wake up at the same time every day, 7 days a week. Yes, this means even on Saturday and Sunday. Is there a certain time that you need to be awake during the week? This is a great time to choose, and then set your alarm for this time. When you pair this behavior with step one by counting backwards 8-9 hours for your optimal bedtime, in a few weeks, you won’t need an alarm at all.
- Watch the sun rise and set outside every day. Natural sunlight changes throughout the day, and these changes in color provide direction to the little organelles within each of the body’s cells that create energy and strengthen the immune system – the mitochondria. Both sunrise and sunset provide the richest concentration of both red and infrared light, and the mitochondria love it! Be sure to remove glasses, contacts, and sunglasses to allow the natural light to greet your eyes without obstruction.
- Limit blue light after sunset. In full natural sunlight during the day, the entire spectrum of visible light is available. However, after the sun sets, both blue and green light is unnatural, and is only present in the environment because of artificial lighting and screens. This alters the hormones secreted in the body and is often a key contributor to insomnia and difficulty falling asleep. Switch out LED lighting for Incandescent bulbs (you can still find them on Amazon), and invest in a pair of high quality blue-light blocking glasses. Both VIVARAYS.COM (Code UPLIFT for 15% off) and SPECTRA479.COM (Code UPLIFT for 15% off) offer options for any budget. Vivarays “Sleepers” are my absolute favorite! And, my husband can’t live without his Spectra479 clip-ons. You just can’t go wrong with either of these brands when it comes to blocking artificial light.
- Avoid calories (food and drink) 3-4 hours before bed. Remember, the goal of a circadian reset is to restore the body’s natural biorhythms. At night, the body and brain undergo cellular cleansing and repair. However, this does not happen to its fullest extent when the body is busy digesting and processing calories. Not only does this lead to disrupted sleep, the next day the body has to operate in a dirty state. You can see how, day after day, this becomes a source of inflammation, stress, and compromised health. Sleeping on an empty stomach allows the body and brain to clean house, allowing you to experience more energy and improved health. (Note: filtered water and organic herbal teas are great choices provided they don’t add to nighttime bathroom awakenings.)
Follow these five steps to kickstart your circadian rhythm reset, sleep better, and experience more energy during the day.
Be sure to comment below or send me a note and let me know how this works for you.
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you ready for better sleep, increased energy, and improved health? I’m the person who can finally help you. Let’s connect! Schedule 15-minutes with me by clicking HERE.
Sleep Coach, Sleep Science Coach, Functional Medicine Nutrition, Building Biology, Environmental Health, Spiritual Psychology, Sleep Better Now