What Is Circadian Rhythm?
As clocks spring forward, keep sleep on track – when the clocks change, so do our sleep patterns. That can be tough on our circadian rhythm - also known as your body’s internal clock.
Your circadian rhythm is the 24-hour cycle that your body runs on to carry out its essential functions and processes. The sleep-wake cycle is one of the most important parts of the circadian rhythm, if this is disrupted it can affect your physical and emotional health. It can leave you looking and feeling tired.
Wondering what affects your circadian rhythm? There are a few things that can throw your circadian rhythm off including:
- Daylight saving time changes.
- Jet lag from travel (especially if you’re travelling between time zones).
- Working shifts.
- Sleep disorders.
- Stress, worry or mental health.
- Lifestyle changes.
It’s estimated by TenT Nutrition that two thirds (67%) of UK adults suffer from disrupted sleep. That’s a whole lot of circadian rhythms that are being thrown out of sync, along with the health, appearance and wellbeing impact of not getting enough rest. The TenT [SLEEP-supplement] For A Deeper Sleep is designed to help you get the best night’s sleep possible. Pair this supplement with you a night oil and anti-ageing products of your choice and you’ll wake up looking and feeling fresh and rested.
Stages Of Sleep
Sleep isn’t just a case of hitting the pillow and waking up the next morning. The process of sleep may have an impact on cellular restoration, brain function, energy conservation, emotional wellbeing, proper insulin function and immunity.
There are four different stages of sleep that your brain cycles through during when you rest. The first three are known as non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) or quiet sleep and the final stage is known as rapid eye movement (REM sleep), also known as paradoxical or active sleep.
Here’s each stage of sleep and what happens to your body and brain while you relax:
Stage 1: N1 (Non-REM)
This stage is probably what’s best known as a “light sleep”. It’s the part between being awake and asleep, where you may not feel like you’re truly asleep or awake, and usually lasts around five to ten minutes.
Your brain, heart, eye movements and breathing all slow down during this stage of sleep as your body starts to relax. You might find that some of your muscles twitch or that you jolt “awake” unexpectedly during this time.
Stage 2: N2 (Non-REM)
This stage of sleep lasts around 20 minutes, and during this time you become less aware of your surroundings. Your body temperature will drop and your eyes will be still. Your breathing and heart rate are still slower than when you’re awake but become more regular.
The brain activity that slowed down at stage 1 changes a little. Your brain starts to produce brain activity and energy, thought to be a feature of memory consolidation where your mind files away everything it experienced during the day. Your body starts to get ready for a deeper sleep.
Stage 3: N3 (Non-REM)
This is the start of deep sleep as your brain waves slow down and become deeper. It becomes much harder to wake someone during this period of deep sleep as the body renews and refreshes itself, leaving a well-rested feeling the next day. Your body undergoes cellular restoration during this stage where energy is replenished and cells, tissues and muscles are repaired. Sanbera Reload Time to Time Men Supplement is formulated to regenerate the body’s cells boosting the immune system and brain function.
During this stage of sleep, your muscles are completely relaxed, your body slows right down and your blood pressure drops. It’s likely that you stay much stiller in this stage of sleep. Your brain continues to process everything from the day.
Stage 4: N4 (REM)
This fourth sleep stage is the part where you experience dreams and as a result, your body keeps your muscles still and immobilised. This stops you from acting out your dreams as you sleep. Some people experience sleepwalking, where this immobilisation doesn’t happen.
In REM sleep, your brain starts to behave more like you’re awake - likely due to the increase in activity from your dreams, memory processing and emotional process. Your eyes also move rapidly and your breathing is faster. This sleep stage lasts around 90 minutes.
What Is Melatonin & How It Works?
If we’re talking about sleep, then we should talk about melatonin. It’s a hormone that’s made naturally in the brain’s pineal gland that helps to control your sleep patterns and sleep cycle.
Your body makes melatonin when it gets dark. It peaks in the early hours of the morning and reduces during the day. It acts on the different receptors in the body to encourage sleep and rest. It doesn’t make you fall asleep, but it does prepare your body for rest and relaxation.
A man-made version of melatonin is also available as a supplement for short-term issues with sleep, especially in people aged over 55 and children. It can make you fall asleep more quickly and can help with issues that might affect your circadian rhythm, like jet lag.
How To Reset Sleep?
If your circadian rhythm is off and you’re finding it difficult to get to sleep or cycle through all of the stages into a deep sleep, there are some ways that you can reset your sleep. This can reset your circadian rhythm and make sure that you’re getting enough sleep.
Setting up a sleep routine can help your mind and body to get into good habits for a restful sleep. Here’s how to reset your sleep patterns and restore your circadian rhythm:
Get Right With The Light
Try and get enough daylight during the day along with creating a dark, relaxing space that you can drift off to sleep in at night. This allows your body’s natural melatonin to reset itself and regulate in the transition from day to night. Getting natural sunlight and sunlight lamps can help with this.
If you’re trying to go to sleep earlier than usual then it’s best to start scaling back your bedtime, rather than attempting to suddenly go to sleep at a much earlier time. This might confuse your body and your mind, and might leave you lying awake later than ever. Try 15 minutes earlier every two or three days.
Keep It Cool
While a warm bath or hot drink may help you drift off to sleep, you want the temperature of your room to be the opposite. Keep your bedroom cool to try and reset your sleep pattern. As your body temperature naturally decreases during the sleep cycle, a cool room will help you have a more comfortable sleep.
Ideally, you want to keep the temperature where you sleep around 65°F (18.3°C). If you’re too warm or sweaty when you sleep, then a sleeping space that’s too hot can actually keep you awake or keep your sleep disturbed.
Look At Your Diet
Try to avoid overeating or eating too close to your bedtime as this can make it difficult to drift off. Avoid too much sugar, caffeine or nicotine during the day - especially at night - as these are all stimulants that can keep you awake.
Spicy or acidic food can affect the health of your gut and may lead to heartburn or acid reflux. A balanced diet is the best thing for overall health, including your sleep health and hygiene. You should also avoid too much exercise close to bedtime, especially after you’ve eaten. Reach for a lighter, healthy snack instead.
Napping during the day may stop you from feeling tired at night and can affect your sleep pattern. If you regularly feel tired during the day then getting your circadian rhythm under control will help you with this. It might also be worth getting some advice from your doctor, just to make sure there isn’t an underlying reason for feeling sleepy.
Power Down Before Bed
Shutting off devices at least an hour before bedtime may stop your brain from feeling overstimulated. The blue light emitted by devices can affect your sleep cycle too as it interferes with melatonin production.
When the clocks go forward this year, try and get your sleep patterns in check. Not getting enough sleep can be bad for your health, appearance, and wellbeing – getting enough sleep is an important way to practice self-care.