Is your Body Clock Out of Whack?
October 26, 2017
Do you wake up feeling tired and groggy even though you’ve had a full night sleep? Your internal body clock / circadian rhythm might not be working properly.
The circadian rhythm regulates your level of sleepiness or wakefulness throughout the day. When it’s working properly, you should wake up feeling energized and ready to conquer the world!
An out-of-whack body clock doesn’t just make you tired. It also disrupts your brain’s wave patterns, hormone production and cell regulation. This disruption has been linked to depression, obesity, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Thankfully, it is possible to reset your circadian rhythm as long as you can figure out what is throwing it off.
Do you have a regular sleep schedule?
Do you go to bed and get up at around the same time every day? An erratic sleep schedule throws off your body clock.
If you want to wake up feeling refreshed, you need to pick a bedtime and a wake up time. Don’t just go to bed whenever you feel like it.
Having a fixed bed time also helps you wind down. You might not always go to bed on time but the realization that it’s “past your bed time” helps you to relax and get ready for bed.
Do you wind down before bed?
How do you prepare for bed? If you work or watch TV up until the minute you fall asleep, your brain doesn’t get a chance to wind down.
To sleep better, you need to find a way to let your mind know that it’s time to gear down and to set aside any anxious or worrisome thoughts before bedtime.
You need a pre-sleep ritual or routine.
It could be anything from taking a warm bath to reading a book as long as it helps you relax.
Your body and mind need 30 to 60 minutes of pre-sleep time. During that time, you should avoid doing anything stimulating such as working or browsing the internet.
Do you turn off the lights and electronics?
This seems obvious but many people still go to sleep with the lights, TV, computer or phone on.
Your body’s clock responds to light. This is why you’re most alert when the sun is shining and most tired when it’s dark outside.
Artificial light, whether from indoor lights or from the phone, confuses your body and makes it difficult for it to determine whether it’s day or night.
If you go to bed expecting to wake up feeling rested and energized but wake up feeling groggy, you may need to reset your body clock. Start by analyzing your pre-sleep and sleep habits using the above pointers and then make any necessary changes.