Week 2 Understanding our body clocks

Week 2 Understanding our body clocks

Your body has a collection of internal “clocks” that run every system, also known as your circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm influences all of your systems like sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, eating habits, and digestion. Recent research shows that circadian rhythms interact with metabolism, how our body heals itself, and even how well our medical treatments work.

Think about how you feel when we switch from Daylight Savings to Standard Time or vice versa. Or how you felt when you traveled across more than two time zones. That’s because even those slight changes throw your clocks out of sync: you're up and around, so your muscles think it’s daytime, but your brain and stomach aren’t sure.

So you might be wondering--how do I get all my clocks to run together and on the right time?

Actually, it’s pretty easy. And it’s pretty much under your control.

Understanding the circadian rhythm is super important for your mental well-being. When your rhythm gets out of whack, it can lead to all sorts of issues like sleep problems and mood disorders. Here are five recommendations to help keep your body clock in check:

Stick to a sleep schedule
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. It can really help regulate your body clock and improve your sleep. Eventually, you’ll find that going to sleep and waking up is a lot easier than before.

Increase your exposure to the sun
Exposure to natural light, especially in the morning, can do wonders for syncing up your body's internal clock.

No screen time before bed
It's a good idea to put the screens away before bedtime. The light from your devices can mess with your sleep cycle, so give yourself some screen-free time before hitting the hay.

Stay active!
Regular exercise is not only great for your overall health but can also help regulate your sleep patterns and improve the quality of your Z's.

Eat well and time your meals
Keeping a regular eating schedule and avoiding heavy meals before bedtime can help support your body's internal clock and improve your sleep.

By understanding and working with your body's natural rhythms, you can give your sleep, mood, and general well-being a real boost!

This educational video from the Sleep Foundation might help you understand this better: