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Restore Your Circadian Rhythm After Daylight Saving Time Change!

Daylight saving time (DST), also known as summer time, is the practice of advancing clocks forward during so that darkness falls at a later clock time. The implementation of DST in California happened on March 13th, setting the clocks forward by one hour.

It is common knowledge that getting at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night is crucial for our physical and mental health. Among other mental, physical and environmental issues which may cause sleep deficiency, the DST change may also effect your circadian rhythm. If you or someone you know does not get adequate sleep, has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, you may consider to try some of the tips we are listing below to help improve your circadian clock.

Your body's internal biological clock that controls your 24-hour sleep cycle regulates your sleep cycle (circadian rhythm). Circadian rhythm is controlled by the hypothalamus part of the brain which responds to light and dark signals your eyes perceive light (SCN; suprachiasmatic nucleus).

Ways to Restore Your Circadian Rhythm

Many different factors may impact your sleep. Try various changes to your routine as we suggest below on order to strengthen your circadian rhythm.

  1. Your circadian cycle will work the best when you maintain consistent bedtime every day including weekends. Fall asleep at a regular time every night, and wake up around the same time every morning. Avoid staying up late to do work, be on your phone, or watch TV.

  2. Your body becomes naturally sleepy when the sun goes down and the daylight fades. Your SCN will trigger your body's natural melatonin, which will make you feel sleepy. Melatonin is normally made by the pineal gland in the brain, but it’s also available as a supplement. It can promote relaxation, so people with jet lag or insomnia often use it as a sleep aid.

  3. In order to avoid upsetting your internal clock, do not expose yourself to any blue light-emitting device (TV, energy-saving bulbs, laptops, and cell phones, etc. all delay melatonin release) immediately before bed or throughout the night. Keep all devices outside your bedroom.

  4. Keep your bedroom dark throughout the night. If your bedroom is exposed to street light, seal out the unnatural light with blinds as much as possible. You'll still want natural light in the morning, so you don't have to use blackout shades. Turn off all the lights in the house to ensure that your bedroom is as dark as possible before turning in for the night. If you have to keep some light in your bedroom at night, invest in some LED amber lights for your bedside lamps.

  5. Keep your bedroom quiet throughout the night. Even as you sleep, your brain will continue to process the sounds around you. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, or have a partner who snores, you may want to invest in white noise (fans, AC, humidifiers, air purifiers, white noise machine), or earplugs.

  6. Keep your bedroom cool (60-67 degrees) throughout the night. Studies show that these temperatures will help keep your body cool and comfortable so that you can fall asleep easily.

  7. Your circadian rhythm functions the best when you expose your body to bright natural light early in the morning as soon as you wake up. Get out into direct sunlight and enjoy your morning coffee outside to get your healthy dose of vitamin D. Bright morning light signals your body to raise your body temperature and cortisol levels, thus increases your energy in the morning. Although the morning sun can be blinding, avoid wearing sunglasses in the morning to allow the natural morning light to wake you up and prepare you for a productive day.

  8. Studies show that one of the best ways to get better sleep is to get some movement or exercise during the day. This is because regular exercise will help you reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep. Yet, you should not exercise at night because the exercise may wake you up. Aim to work out in the morning or mid to early afternoon.

  9. Reduce your stress and anxiety before bed by using such relaxation techniques as yoga, stretching, meditation, deep breathing, reading or drinking caffeine-free sleep tea.

  10. If you toss and turn in your bed and can't seem to fall asleep, get out of the bed and do some stretching or deep breathing techniques.

  11. Digestion and metabolism also play a role in wakefulness and sleepiness. When you eat, and to some extent, what you eat, can help you reset your sleep clock. Research suggest that intermittent fasting for 16 hours or more can help reset your circadian rhythm. Eat an early dinner (around 4 p.m.), and then avoid food entirely until the following morning 8 a.m. breakfast. Once your sleep is back on track, stick to regular breakfast and dinner times to achieve consistent circadian rhythm.

  12. Eat dinner at least three hours before bed. Plan at least 12 hours between breakfast and dinner. Skip your early breakfast in the following morning or delay your breakfast as much as you can.

  13. Stop caffeine consumption after lunch.

  14. Limit you alcohol intake as it may impact on the quality of your sleep and your ability to fall and stay asleep.

  15. Eat COMFORT KETO gourmet meals. You need energy from food while you’re awake, not at night when you’re sleeping. Mid morning is the optimal time to power-up on your biggest meal. If you are not leading a ketogenic lifestyle, definitely cut back on carbs in the late afternoon and evening, or else you’ll unintentionally signal to your body that you plan to be awake for a while.

  16. Long naps might also cause grogginess, which is the result of waking up from deep sleep. If you need to nap in the afternoon, aim for a nap before 3:00 PM that is less than 30 minutes so you don't disrupt your nighttime sleep.

  17. Invest in a suitable mattress for your sleeping position, weight, and body shape.

Lastly, if you are experiencing temporary sleep setbacks due to travel to a country with drastically different time zones or adjusting from night shift work to day shift or vice versa, you may want to try staying up for one whole night and the following day until your next regular bedtime. This will help regulate your circadian rhythm.

How Long Does it Take to Fix Your Circadian Rhythm?

The length of time it takes for you to fix your circadian rhythm depends on how well you apply the above listed techniques. It may take anywhere between one day to two weeks to adjust. You may want to consult your medical doctor, if you are still experiencing sleep problems after trying to reset your biological clock with the above listed techniques.

Sleep well friends.

Team Chef Janine

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