The Importance Of Understanding Your Circadian Rhythm

If you’ve been around BIA for a while, then you know we love to talk about sleep (proof is here and here). After all, it’s a major component to a life well lived, but it’s also something people struggle with easily. So I’m here to help!

For today’s post, I want to ask – have you ever heard of the circadian rhythm? It’s something I’ve been reading about lately. Although I think I’ve always known it was a thing, I’ve never actually recognized it as something that affects my day-to-day life. If you’re scratching your head, the circadian rhythm is essentially your internal clock which regulates your sleep/wake cycle.

There are tons of environmental cues the brain recognizes that tells your body when to feel awake and when to feel sleepy – like when it’s dark versus light outside. But it’s the circadian rhythm that helps keep your routine in check. It’s known to get thrown off on weekends, which is why we can feel out of whack come Monday morning (or when bebe keeps you up all night).

The good news is, to realign and achieve deep, quality sleep, all you have to do it simply listen to your body. When you’re tired, sleep. When you’re awake, be productive. They say your rhythm can adapt and change with your lifestyle, so if you’re a new mom like me, not all hope is lost.

It sounds like the real key to balancing your circadian rhythm though, based on info from The National Sleep Foundation, is developing good sleep habits. Like going to bed and waking up at consistent times and having proper sleep hygiene. Even on weekends when a 9 a.m. sleep-in sounds heavenly, you’ll actually be hurting your sleep and energy levels in the long-run. So set your normal alarm and instead of getting ready for work, do something you enjoy to make your weekends special. Or get in a workout before other weekend commitments. Sounds simple enough, no?

Do you try to pay attention to your natural internal clock, aka your circadian rhythm, for better sleep? Interested to see if anyone utilizes this method when trying to get out of a funk or change their routine.

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  1. I agree with having good sleep hygiene and following circadian rhythms for the most part, but sometimes those weekend sleep-ins are sooo necessary. A recent study found that people who slept in on the weekends to make up for having 5 hours of sleep or less on weekdays did not have an increased risk of early death, compared to people who didn’t make up the missed sleep:

  2. I feel conflicted by this. On one side I’m like, yes, structure is necessary. On the other side I’m like let your body tell you what it needs. So, I’m thinking a healthy balance between the two would be a good balance for me!

    Blu – wellness & healthy living

  3. I said goodbye to proper sleep after I gave birth to my first child.
    Before I was such an amazing sleeper, I loved sleep. Now thats all changed but I need to get into the habit of sleeping more and less technology before bed time.

  4. I’ve just changed my alarm so that it is for the same time in the morning even on weekends. I’ll trial it this weekend and see if it makes a difference come Monday morning. I’m hoping to get in an early morning walk with that extra time I’ll have 😊

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