Updated: Mar 19, 2020
Circadian rhythms can influence sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, eating habits and digestion, body temperature, and other important bodily functions. Your circadian rhythm works best when you have a consistent sleep schedule. An important part of your brain called the hypothalamus controls the synchronicity of your sleep and wake cycles. Outside factors like lightness and darkness impact the way that part of the brain is signaled for sleep. When it’s dark at night, your eyes send a message to the hypothalamus that it’s time to feel tired. Your brain then sends a signal to your body to release melatonin, which makes your body tired.
Some simple tips to encourage a healthy circadian rhythm:
1. Begin winding down your activities 90 minutes before bedtime
2. Lower the lights in your environment and limit screen time
3. Take a bath, diffuse relaxing essential oils or light a candle to help signal your brain that you are getting prepared to sleep
4. Stretch your body gently, meditate, and reflect on your blessings from the day
5. Close your eyes and breathe deeply to allow your nervous system to calm itself into sleep mode