You know what’s super fascinating? The circadian cycle. Resetting it can boost your health and wellbeing [yes, you can even do this when you have little kids].
By Ava Wilde
First things, first. WTF is the circadian cycle? Also known as your internal body clock, it basically controls your sleep-wake cycle.
Think of it as a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain, dictating your energy levels, mood, and even your productivity throughout the day.
Essentially, your circadian rhythm is your body’s way of naturally regulating your daily routines. It responds to light and darkness in your environment, telling you when it’s time to hit the sack and when to rise and shine.
“UNDERSTANDING AND RESPECTING YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHM, THIS AMAZING INTERNAL CLOCK, IS A RADICAL ACT OF SELF-CARE.”
But this isn’t just about getting the right amount of beauty sleep [though we’re all for that]. The circadian rhythm impacts a myriad of bodily functions, including hormone production, digestion, body temperature, and even cell regeneration. It’s like a grand conductor, orchestrating the symphony of our body’s functions, keeping everything in harmony.
Aligning with your circadian rhythm is all about embracing your body’s natural ebb and flow. Simple lifestyle changes like exposing yourself to sunlight during the day, sticking to regular meal times, avoiding screen time before bed, and maintaining consistent sleeping and waking times can make a world of difference.
Understanding and respecting your circadian rhythm, this amazing internal clock, is a radical act of self-care. You deserve to feel the benefits of a balanced, harmonious life, and aligning with your circadian cycle can provide some seriously stunning health benefits.
Here are a few reasons why aligning with your natural circadian rhythm could be one of the best moves for your wellbeing, mama.
1. Better Sleep
Mamas, you know the struggle of getting a good night’s sleep. By keeping a consistent sleep schedule that aligns with your circadian rhythm, you’re likely to have a more restful slumber, waking up refreshed and ready to conquer the day.
2. Enhanced Mood
Ever noticed how cranky we can get with a poor night’s sleep or disrupted routine? That’s your circarium rhythm out of whack. Keeping in sync with your circadian rhythm promotes better mood and can keep those unwanted feelings of irritability at bay.
3. Boosted Immune System
An optimised circadian rhythm aids the immune system, helping your body better fight off illness. For mums, who are constantly exposed to germs thanks to our kids, this is a massive plus.
4. Improved Digestion
Your circadian rhythm influences when and how efficiently you digest food. Regular meals that align with your body clock can improve digestion and reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal issues.
5. Increased Energy and Productivity
When you’re in tune with your circadian rhythm, you’re likely to notice you’ve got more pep in your step. You’ll often have increased energy levels and improved concentration, enabling you to seize the day.
Whether that involves conquering your work tasks or chasing after your little munchkins.
Resetting your circadian cycle when you have kids
If you’re thinking, that all sounds great, but I have little kids who dictate when I can eat, sleep and practically breathe, how can I possibly do this?
Luckily there are some surefire ways to get your inner clock ticking to the right beat.
1. Set a Regular Sleep Schedule
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This consistency can help regulate your body’s internal clock and help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
So even if your babies are waking you at 4am every day, set your own bedtime [and make sure you fit in some me-time].
The biggest thing is consistency is key!
2. Limit Exposure to Light at Night
The blue light emitted by screens [phones, tablets, computers, and TVs] can seriously mess with your circadian rhythm. It’s a good idea to turn off these devices at least an hour before bed.
You could even consider using dim red lights for night lights, which have the least impact on melatonin production.
3. Get Plenty of Natural Light During the Day
Natural daylight helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. Try to spend time outside during daylight hours each day, or at least make sure your work and home environments are well lit during the day.
4. Avoid Long Naps During the Day
While power naps can help refresh your mind, long or irregular napping during the day can disrupt your circadian rhythm. If you’re struggling with sleep, it might be best to avoid napping or limit yourself to just 20 minutes in the early afternoon.
5. Be Mindful of What You Eat and Drink
What you consume can affect your sleep cycle. Avoid going to bed either hungry or overly full, and be cautious of consuming caffeine and alcohol, both of which can interfere with your sleep.
6. Engage in Regular Physical Activity
Regular physical activity can help reset your circadian rhythm, especially when done in the morning or afternoon. Try not to exercise too close to bedtime, though, as it might interfere with your sleep.
7. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Before bed, try implementing relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or yoga. These can promote better sleep by transitioning your body into a state of relaxation.
Remember, mamas, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you’re resetting your circadian rhythm, it may take a few days or even weeks for your body to adjust to the new sleep schedule. But, with a bit of patience and consistency, you’ll get there, and your body will thank you.
Stay patient, stay persistent, and most importantly, keep taking care of you. Your wellbeing matters, mama. Here’s to a great night’s sleep and radiant days ahead.