Do you often struggle to get a good night’s sleep? A lot of us do, and there are many reasons why. One key element to consider is the body’s circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms regulate our sleeping patterns, affecting how well we rest. Read on to learn more about why circadian rhythms are important for healthy sleep patterns.
What is a Circadian Rhythm?
A circadian rhythm is an internal 24-hour clock that helps regulate when we feel awake and when we feel sleepy. When your circadian rhythm is functioning properly, you will feel alert during the day and be able to fall asleep easily at night. It’s important to note that these rhythms differ from person to person; some people may naturally wake up earlier while others may naturally stay up later into the night.
Light Regulation and Melatonin Production
Light plays an important role in regulating our circadian rhythm. Light sources such as sunlight or artificial light stimulate certain photoreceptors in our eyes which sends signals to the brain that it's time to be awake. This is also why people tend to have difficulty sleeping when exposed to bright screens late at night—the light tricks your brain into thinking it's daytime. Conversely, darkness triggers melatonin production which helps make us feel sleepy and relaxed so that we can fall asleep easier.
Creating Healthy Sleep Patterns with Circadian Rhythms
In order to create healthier sleep patterns, it’s important to establish a consistent bedtime routine. Going to bed around the same time each evening will help build habits around your own personal circadian rhythm so you can become familiar with those natural cues of when you should start winding down for the night. Additionally, avoiding exposure to bright screens late at night can help cue your body for sleep by reducing blue-light stimulation and allowing your body’s melatonin production cycle its intended course undisturbed.
Circadian rhythms play an integral role in healthy sleep patterns; by creating habits around your own personal circadian cycle and avoiding bright screens late at night, you can ensure that you are getting quality rest each evening so you can function optimally during the day! While there are other factors that affect our ability to get good sleep—such as stress levels or diet—keeping an eye on our circadian rhythms is one fundamental step towards achieving better overall health and wellbeing through better sleep!
Northeast Missouri Health Council, Partners for a lifetime of health
Medical, Dental, and Behavioral Clinics in Kirksville, Missouri, Macon, Missouri, Milan, Missouri, and Kahoka, Missouri. Visit our website to find the nearest clinic to you. www.nemohealthcouncil.com