Altering your Circadian Rhythm or body clock is not good.
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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.
The Involvement Of Sunrise And Sunset:
- 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.
- 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.
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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
- 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:
- Improper Sleeping Behaviors
- Intake of Alcohol and Abusive Drugs like Cocaine
- Exposure to harmful blue light from cell phones before bedtime.
- Late night food intake
- Hitting the Gym close to bedtime
- Night Shifts at work
- Lack of Sleep due to travel (e.g) Jet-lags
- Lack of Sleep due to work load
- Lack of Sleep due to the involvement in late night Entertainment activities. For example – Late Night Parties, Watching Sports/movies in computers and television.
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.