Sleeping Problems – How To Reset Your Circadian Rhythm

Most people have the same problem every spring. The sunlight outside stays out longer and sleeping patterns get all disoriented. Sleeping becomes a big problem since people want to stay awake all hours of the night. We all know sleep is one of the most important needs that our bodies actually demand to function. Sleep is more important than food, than clothes, and just about anything else. And our sleep cycles are coordinated in our bodies through a Circadian Rhythm. They also call this the biological clock.

A circadian rhythm is the actual changes in our bodies that signal happenings in a 24-hour period and these changes are usually signaled by light and dark. Producing melatonin is part of a circadian rhythm. Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland and is an active component of making you sleepy. And darkness is a signal factor for your body to produce melatonin. So your body depends on darkness to function as do nocturnal animals depend on light. These tips should help you reset that circadian rhythm in no time.

Sleeping Problem Tip Number One: Try to Sleep In a Patterned Cycle

Sometimes when you have a disturbed sleep cycle you wake up multiple times a night or even only sleep for 3- to 4-hour increments, wake up for 2 to 3 hours until you get sleepy, and then go back to bed for 3 to 4 hours. This isn’t a very good sleep habit. So try and change a broken up sleep pattern into a whole complete cycle. If you wake up after 3 hours of sleep, try and stay in bed. You can learn relaxing techniques that will put you back to sleep.

Sleeping Problem Tip Number Two: No Disturbances

Make sure you are not waking up because something, some noise, or even the phone wakes you up. Try unplugging the phone, even wearing earplugs to bed, put the cat or dog out of your bedroom and close the door, and turn off the TV if you have one in the bedroom. Your goal is a nice soothing and peaceful environment so when you actually go to sleep nothing shocks you back awake.

Sleeping Problem Tip Number Three: Use Curtains

Some people like waking up to a room fully lit with morning sunshine. This is nice but when you have problems with your sleep cycle, it’s best to keep the curtains closed to keep a controlled setting. You want control over the environment around you so the resetting sleep pattern is possible. And the darkness in a room helps with your natural circadian rhythm.

Sleeping Problem Tip Number Four: Reset the Internal Clock

If your sleep patterns are off and you want to sleep at a different time or want to reset your cycle back to normal, then start out slow. Your body has a much easier time adjusting by making small changes. So you can try changing your sleep schedule by three-hour increments.

So if your body is telling you to sleep at 4 am in the morning instead of 10 pm at night, start by taking that 4 am sleep time and adding three hours to it so try and stay up to 7 am and sleep. I know, you would think to push back the time to sleep from 4 am and try and sleep at 1 am instead would be more time saving, but your body does not get tired enough at 1 am so you have to push the sleep schedule ahead instead of behind. So this is what your new schedule would look like.

First night: Sleep at 4 am
Second Night: Sleep at 7 am
Third Night: Sleep at 10 am
Fourth Night: Sleep at 1 pm
Fifth Night: Sleep at 4 pm
Sixth Night: Sleep at 7 pm
Seventh Night Sleep at 10 pm

What if you can not devote a week to sleeping adjustments, then option two, you can try the major jump of staying awake for 16 hours, instead of going to sleep at 4 am, forgo sleep and stay awake until 10 pm at night.

OR the more difficult option, you can try and make yourself sleep instead of 4 am push back your sleep at 1 am and then the next night try for 10 pm. But trying to make yourself get sleepy enough could be a problem. So you can try different tactics designed to relax you enough to sleep. One is making yourself completely relaxed, calm and quiet and you can start this process by drinking sleepy herbal teas like chamomile or Sleepy Time by Celestial Seasonings and then take a hot shower, dim the lights and read while in bed. Make your bedroom cool if you can run a fan to drown out the noise levels.

Read What Is Circadian Rhythm and Your Internal Clock? to learn more about this topic.