A circadian rhythm is an approximately 24 hour cycle that controls things like when you go to sleep, when you get up, and when you eat. Moreover, the circadian rhythm is synchronized with the solar day and night.
Regrettably, circadian rhythms aren’t always perfect. In fact some of the circadian rhythm disorders include the following.
- First, a disordered rhythm causes some people to sleep late and get up late in the morning.
- Second, a disordered rhythm causes other people to sleep early and also get up early in the morning
- Third, the circadian rhythm of some people keeps moving forward every couple of days. As a result these people sleep later and later at night. Also, these people get up later and later in the morning.
- Next, the sleep-wake cycle of some people don’t have at pattern. These people take naps throughout the day and night.
- Also, people working rotating schedules have wrecked circadian rhythms
- Finally, jet lag makes it necessary to let your circadian rhythm adjust to your new physical location.
However, there are ways to treat some of these disorders (see infographic). And a few of these are described below.
- First, stay with your regular sleep-wake schedule
- Don’t take naps in the afternoon
- Regularly exercise to your schedule. However, avoid exercising within several hours of bedtime.
- Don’t drink or eat caffeinated items such as coffee within several hours of bedtime.
- People who sleep late should reduce indoor illumination, avoid bright TV and computer screens.
- People who sleep early should keep lights on in the house or spend time outdoors
- Use bright light therapy so that those who sleep too late, sleep earlier and those who sleep too early, sleep later.
- Use medications to adjust your sleep-wake cycle to your desired schedule. These medications include melatonin, drugs to keep you awake, and short-term sleep aids. Melatonin, in particular, is helpful to get over jet lag.
- Sleep in a quiet and dark room and a well-lit room when you wake up