The Dr. Lam Show

How To Reset Your Circadian Rhythm

December 03, 2023 Dr. Lam
The Dr. Lam Show
How To Reset Your Circadian Rhythm
Show Notes Transcript

Are you sick of not sleeping well or struggling to wake up for work? Your circadian rhythm governs when you feel sleepy and wake up and it can be extremely difficult to reset. If you’re struggling with your sleeping patterns, then here are some ideas to reset your circadian rhythm.

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How to reset your circadian rhythm? Are you a night owl or you find yourself wide awake late at night and struggling to get up on time for work next morning? Or perhaps you're a morning person and start yawning halfway through your evening movie. Whichever one describes you best, it's all down to your circadian rhythm. Your body is an internal clock that regulates your circadian rhythm, the daily cycles that determine sleep, hunger, digestion, your hormones and the other body activities. Their circadian clock consists of around 20,000 neurons in your hypothalamus at the base of your brain. This is known as the Super Chiasmatic Nucleus or SCN. And when your eyes see light signals travel to the SCN, letting your brain know hey, it's time to wake up. And your SCN then signals the release of hormones that make you feel awake and alert. And light is the most important way that your brain determines when it's night or day. Although there are other signals as well. Some other signals your brain uses are our food intake or body temperature or physical activity levels and social interactions. All of these signals together help set your circadian rhythm. Once your circadian rhythm is set, cortisol is used to wake you up and melatonin is released to make you feel sleepy. This occurs at very regular intervals which explains why you go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time every day. And they have actually opposite curves. So melatonin goes up at night, while cortisol goes down at night. And the opposite happens in the morning. Cortisol is high in the morning to wake you up and the melatonin should be low. Some people are naturally night owls who go to bed late and sleep in. And others are early risers and go to bed and get up early. Your tendencies will change throughout your life. But once your circadian rhythm is set, it can be very difficult to change. That's why if something in your life changes that requires you to get up earlier or sleeping you may have a lot of trouble resetting that. Circadian rhythm can also be difficult to be a night owl if you work a regular nine to five job as you will constantly be fighting your own internal rhythm. Whether you want to change your habits to be healthier, to fit in better with your job or just because you're constantly tired and want more sleep. Here's some ideas that might help you. Bright light therapy. Bright Light Therapy can actually help reset your circadian rhythm quite quickly. With this therapy, you need to get exposed to bright artificial lights at certain times of the day. Talk to a sleep specialist about how much light you can need and when. They can also teach you what kind of device you can use to get the light that you need melatonin it at night, your body releases melatonin to help make you sleepy and now you can take it in supplement form. Taking around half a milligram to one milligram of melatonin around bedtime and the guidance of a doctor can really help set your circadian rhythm. You also want to make sure you sleep in a totally dark room because the melatonin does not like to come out at night if you are having any blue light or any light type of exposure. Tart cherry juice can also encourage melatonin production. You want to wake up at the same time every day regardless of whether you go to work or unable to fall asleep at the right time or it's the weekend. Waking up at the same time everyday will eventually help reset your circadian rhythm. Caffeine. Lots of people use caffeine to help them get through the day but drinking caffeine close to bedtime can actually have you feeling too wired to go to sleep. And caffeine takes around five hours to pass from your body so you should really stop drinking it around five to seven hours before bedtime. Change your mealtimes. Your food intake is one of the signals that helps regulate your circadian rhythm. Changing your mealtimes can actually help change when you feel alert or tired. So try paying attention to your mealtimes and see what happens. Exercise. Exercising regularly can improve your sleep quality and duration but exercising too close to bedtime may be too stimulating and may stop you from falling asleep. So make sure you exercise regularly but not close to bedtime. Talk to your doctor before you adopt any of these ideas just to make sure your body can handle these changes as they all cause additional stress or pressure. Thank you for listening to what we have talked to you about today about how to reset your circadian rhythm. Hopefully these natural tips will help you get sleeping better. If you'd like to hear more great tips on improving that make sure to click the subscribe button like share and if you have any questions about sleep or supplements You know who to call. Call us as we're here to empower you to take control of your health.