Medically reviewed by:
Aligning your circadian rhythm as an adult is incredibly important. It can help you sleep through the night and feel refreshed waking up. On the flip side, if your circadian rhythm is misaligned, it can cause sleep and health issues.
Read on to learn more about your circadian rhythm and how it can help you sleep better!
Your circadian rhythm is the natural rhythm of your body that controls your sleep and wake cycles. Your circadian rhythm is directly connected to your 24-hour body clock, and it can be affected by a number of factors. The circadian rhythm primarily follows changes in light. That’s why humans sleep at night and are awake during the day. An inverse example would be nocturnal animals. Their circadian rhythm is reversed because their unique physiology and feeding schedule are better suited for nighttime wakefulness.
When your circadian rhythm is in tune, you’ll sleep better. Your brain will alter your body temperature, hormones, and metabolism to put you in a state of restfulness or an alert, waking state. However, if you experience disruptions, your sleep will inevitably be affected. The good news is, there are various ways to reset your circadian rhythm. Keeping a set sleep routine and having healthy habits can help you keep your circadian rhythm in check and minimize the negative effects of disruptions.
So restful and restorative sleep is the result when your internal body clock is ticking away the way it’s supposed to, but what if the clock is off?
If this is the case, you could start experiencing troubles with sleep. This can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. When your circadian rhythm is off, your sleep quality is much lower. Which means not only will you sleep less, but you’ll be more tired during the day.
Quality sleep is absolutely essential to your long-term mental and physical health, so it’s crucial to get your rhythm back on track when it’s thrown off. The first thing to be aware of is the common disruptors that can mess with your circadian rhythm. Let’s hit those next.
There can be long-term and short-term disruptions to your circadian rhythm. Here are some of the disorders and conditions that you should be mindful of:
In addition to these disorders, there may be other factors that disrupt your circadian rhythm, such as:
As you can see, there are many ways that your circadian rhythm can be disrupted. Typically, you can get your circadian rhythm back on track with some lifestyle modifications, but long-term misalignment can lead to some serious health effects.
Sleep, and by extension, your circadian rhythm, are essential for good health. A disruption to your schedule every now and then isn’t going to be detrimental, but if your circadian rhythm troubles are ongoing, you could run into a myriad of health issues.
The parts of your body that can be affected by circadian rhythm disruptions include your:
Sleep helps to regulate all of these organs and systems. When you’re not getting adequate sleep, they won’t be able to operate optimally. A lack of sleep can also make you more susceptible to a number of health conditions such as diabetes, anxiety, depression, and more. Sleep even helps you heal from injuries faster, so an imbalanced circadian rhythm can slow down your recovery processes as well. In the short term, you may just experience grogginess and less energy, but the long-term effects can be much more severe.
No matter what, disruptions to your circadian rhythm are bound to occur. Fortunately, there are some good ways to help your body reset. It can take a couple of days all the way to several weeks to get your circadian rhythm back in line. Keep that in mind when you’re following these tips:
Once you get your circadian rhythm back on track, you’re definitely going to want to keep it that way. We have some good advice for that too.
While it's nearly impossible to have complete control over your circadian cycle, there are plenty of measures you can take to make it as healthy and consistent as possible. So, here’s how to train your body to keep a steady cycle:
Following these tips can improve your overall sleep hygiene and get your circadian rhythm back on track. If you’re needing personalized help with your sleep, Sleep Reset can help.
Everyone’s sleep habits and problems are a little different. That’s why Sleep Reset offers personalized plans for better sleep and a dedicated sleep coach to help you get there. Typically, when people are having trouble with their sleep, the first thing they want to do is turn to sleeping pills or supplements. But these can lead to grogginess, side effects, and dependency. Sleep Reset addresses your sleep problems at their source, helping you to get better and deeper sleep for life.
If you want to sleep through the night and wake up well rested, without pills or melatonin or supplements, choose Sleep Reset. All you have to do is take our quick sleep assessment for us to find out your needs. Then, you can choose to get your customized sleep plan and a sleep coach who will provide you with the tools and plan you need to sleep better and feel better. Ready to get started? Take our easy sleep assessment today!