Circadian Rhythm, to put it simply, is a guide to your body clock cycle. It lets your body know when to sleep and when to be awake. A disturbed Circadian Rhythm can lead to exhaustion, psychological issues, and other illness.

How does Circadian Rhythm work?

Circadian Rhythm works like a clock that tells us – It’s time to sleep, it’s time to eat, it’s time to wake up and so on. A small region in the front of the brain located just above the optic nerve called ‘The Suprachiasmatic Nerve’ (SCN) controls the Circadian Rhythm. The SCN sends the signal to the pineal gland as to what hormones to produce during the day.

Environmental factors like sunlight and temperature influence the Circadian Rhythm. For example, during the daytime, the SCN detects sunlight and sends a signal to the pineal gland to produce ‘Cortisol,’ a hormone that makes you alert. And during night time SCN signals the pineal gland to produce ‘Melatonin,’ a hormone which makes you sleepy.

What does Circadian Rhythm Influence? 

  • Sleep cycle
  • Hormone release
  • Metabolism
  • Body temperature

Any imbalance leads to obesity, mood swings, a sleeping disorder that leaves you exhausted and unhappy.

Symptoms of Circadian Rhythm disorder

  • Difficulty in initiating sleep
  • Difficulty in maintaining sleep
  • Constantly tired despite getting adequate sleep
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Decrease in Cognitive Skills
  • Difficulty performing day-to-day tasks
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Obesity

What you need to do to restore the balance in Circadian Rhythm

  • Regularize sleep – The Circadian Rhythm of every individual is different and age plays a significant role – like babies need to sleep 10 to 12 hours, while adults are good with 7-8 hours of sleep. Try to maintain regular sleep – and get a minimum of 6 hours of quality sleep every night. Listen to your body and decide how many hours of sleep do you require to wake up refreshed and energized.
  • Sleeping habits – Keep track of your sleeping pattern and improve it by maintaining your sleeping time, switching off gadgets in the night, reducing your daytime napping to have a good night’s sleep.
  • Exposure to sunlight – Sunlight is a significant environmental factor. It is the center of the Circadian Rhythm, especially since it indicates to the body whether to produce melatonin or cortisol. Exposure to sunlight at least 15 minutes several times per week is highly recommended for all.
  • Substance misuse – We mustn’t abuse, overuse, or misuse substances like alcohol, drugs, and other stimulants like caffeine.
  • Daily exercise – This helps maintain fitness, maintains the optimal body temperature, and helps get a good night’s sleep.
  • Protein-rich foods – Having a protein-rich diet gives a boost to your energy and strength.
  • Keep track of your food – Food can play a significant role in throwing off your Circadian Rhythm. If you have noticed that you feel exhausted every day or at a particular time of the day, you can change your food habits to balance carbs, fat, and proteins in your diet.

Small changes pave a long road for a balanced Circadian Rhythm and a healthy and happy body! Get started, today!