Circadian Rhythm

Are you a night owl? An early bird? Everyone operates on a schedule that dictates how you feel during different times of the day. Circadian rhythm is your 24-hour internal clock that cues you to be awake, energized, drowsy, or asleep. Your brain is synced in a particular pattern and can be influenced by outside factors like how bright or dark it is outside. Circadian rhythm can also change as you age – people find it’s easier to wake up early the older they get.

  1. You can improve your circadian rhythm by going to bed and getting up around the same time every day, you can queue your body to feel more energized. Waking up and falling asleep will become easier over time. Other health aspects, like intuitive eating and fitness, can also benefit from a strong circadian rhythm.
  2. Sleeping in on weekends can cause “social jet lag” which confuses your body. By staying up late on the weekends and then sleeping in the next morning, you are not catching up on sleep. Instead, your internal clock miscues as if you’ve flown to California and back. It can take several days to get back on track.
  3. Different times of the day are better for different activities because circadian rhythm dictates things such as heart rate and hormone levels. For example, typically mid-morning is best for logical thinking and after lunch is best for creativity.
  4. Circadian rhythm has impact on your overall health. Your circadian rhythm can impact your likelihood for weight gain, diabetes, depression, and other mental health disorders. This problem can be exacerbated by working night shifts or constantly staying up late into the night.