How Stable Is Your Circadian Rhythm?

Altering your Circadian Rhythm or body clock is not good.

Circadian Rhythm

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I have seen and also heard people calling themselves with nick names like Night Owl, Night Bird etc. I need to admit that I do fall into that category sometimes.

But, being Nocturnal on a regular basis will ensure to take a major part of your good health as a compensation.

Yes, that is what would be the output if you are disturbing your Circadian Rhythm.

What Is Circadian Rhythm?

It is a Physical, Mental and Behavioral change observed by all the living beings including Animals, Plants, and Oxygen Producing Bacteria in a 24-hour cycle process.

In Simple Words, the rhythm that keeps track of Sleep and Feeding schedules or patterns based on Light and Temperature in living beings.

Biological Clock Vs Master Clock:

– Circadian rhythms are controlled by our Biological Clock.

– The Biological Clocks in our body are managed by the Master or the Primary Clock which resides in our brain.

– A Circadian Rhythm is linked to Brain Wave Patterns, Hormones and brain chemical secretions, Cell regeneration and even more.

The Involvement Of Sunrise And Sunset:

Serotonin:

  • The Neurotransmitter that gets triggered by Sunlight.
  • When the sun rises, the production of Melatonin in our body stops and the production of Serotonin starts.
  • It regulates our Mood, Thinking Abilities, Hungriness and also Motivates us during the day.

Melatonin:

  • The Hormone which makes us sleep during the night.
  • When the sun starts to set, the Serotonin production stops in our body leading to the production of Melatonin.
  • Melatonin regulates the Circadian Rhythm.

Circadian Rhythm

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Impacts Of An Altered Rhythms:

Any alterations or disruptions in the circadian rhythm lead to health related issues which are minor as well as major.

Some of them are,

  • Sleep Disorders like Insomnia
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Fatigue
  • Diabetes
  • Laziness
  • Declined Attentiveness and Concentration leading to Accidents
  • Possibilities of Cardiovascular Diseases
  • May pave way to Parkinson’s & Alzheimer’s Disease

Factors That Causes Abnormal Circadian Rhythms:

  • Stress
  • Improper Sleeping Behaviors
  • Intake of Alcohol and Abusive Drugs like Cocaine
  • Late night food intake
  • Night Shifts at work
  • Lack of Sleep due to travel (e.g) Jet-lags

How To Normalize Your Circadian Rhythm:

  • Taking Medical help from the Doctors is recommended especially if the situation cannot be handled by ourselves.
  • Stick to time. Go to bed and Wake up on a particular time.
  • Avoid staying all night in front of the TV or similar.
  • Avoid intake of heavy and fatty foods for dinner.
  • Stop using cell phones at least an hour before Bed.
  • Light alters circadian rhythm. Turn off the Cell Phone, Night Lamps, Display Lights on Air Conditioners or similar.
  • Do not go to bed until it is night if you are in a different time zone as a part of your travel.

Other Things That Matters:

  • Hit the Gym at the correct time. Preferably in the morning/evening.
  • Drink plenty of water during the day.
  • Keep yourself occupied with some activity at work even when the work load is less.

Things To Remember:

  • Studies have shown that a power nap or a quick nap in the noon increase productivity and reduce stress. But, no study has proved that the power nap can compensate the lost sleep during the previous day’s night.
  • If you are thinking of replacing the regular good sleep during the night with a quick nap then you are incorrect.

A quick nap during the day at work or during weekends will not help in resetting your circadian rhythm.

Do you sleep at work?

Do you get an urge to sleep at work?

It is always good to have a real quick sleep at work after lunch. When I say it’s good, I am referring to the 15-30 minutes nap. A Good Sleep plays an important role in finalizing a person’s success in career and in life.

sleep at work

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Companies in Japan had initiated sleep at work policy to encourage their employees to take a quick nap after lunch. Short sleep at work after lunch is proven to increase the productivity of the employees.

Besides, it is very normal for people to sleep off when they are dog tired but not all the times.

Remember that too much of anything is good for nothing. If you think that your sleep pattern falls into the abnormal category then it is time for you to dig on to it to find the root cause and take necessary actions.

Lack of sleep during the night can be because of Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, Parasomnias etc.

Reasons why people sleep at work:

  • Due to lack of interest towards the job.

– This is one of the major reason why people get bored at the office, in turn, sleep at work.

– Due to routine boring tasks.

  • Due to lack of opportunities.

– There are times when we would be totally free with very less to no work. For example, software professionals who support their clients abroad usually receive lesser work during Christmas holidays.

  • Due to Medical issues.

– People with underactive thyroid are most likely to sleep during the day due to lethargic nature.

– Hormonal imbalances.

  • Due to lack of sleep during the night.

– It is highly recommended to get at least 6 – 8 hours of sleep.

– Sleep Deprivation leads to fatigue during daytime, anxiety issues, depression and more.

  • Due to Narcolepsy in other words sleep attacks which are known to occur during the day might also be the reason why you sleep during the day.
  • Due to heavy workouts & stress.

– Beginners who hit the fitness centers are more likely to sleep at work due to body pains.

  • Due to excessive consumption of meals during lunch.

– Tasty food items lure people with great taste buds. Ha.. ha.. ha.. just kidding. But, it’s true that people who consume rice in large quantities sleep off during the day.

  • Due to lack of brain chemical Dopamine.

– The release of brain chemical Dopamine is responsible for the human to get Motivated.

  • Due to an intake of certain medications.

– For example, pills like Cetirizine and cough syrups like Benadryl.

  • Due to jet lags.

How to avoid sleeping at work?

  • Sleep well during the night. Ensure that you get adequate sleep.
  • Cut down on sugar intake.
  • Turn off or stay away from your cell phone at least an hour before you go to the bed. It is proven that the blue light from the mobile devices leads to sleep disorders by affecting our eyes.

Tip: There are apps like Twilight which helps to arrest blue light which gets emitted from the mobile screen to some extent.

  • Do not overstuff yourself with food items. Know your limits.
  • Stay Motivated.
  • Interact with people around you. Building networks at the workplace can help in a great way in our career.
  • Keep yourself occupied with activities like reading books, listening to good music, write about something etc.
  • Speak to your manager for additional responsibilities whenever you have the bandwidth.
  • Get involved in extra curricular activities and events at the work place. For example, events like Toastmasters, code hackers etc. would not only keep you occupied but also gives you a great exposure.
  • Call your friends in other companies over the phone and say “Hi”.Utilize the time to stay in touch with your friends and ex-colleagues instead of sleeping.
  • You can also refresh yourself by playing games on your mobile with your friends. Games like 8 ball pool, Asphalt, clash of clans etc can be played on a multiplayer mode. This will just help you to refresh yourself and keep you away from sleeping.