Your body regulates on a 24 hour cycle that can get messed up when you don’t get enough light or too much light. Find out about your circadian rhythm, and what happens when it is disrupted, including its link to several mental health disorders. Get tips onhow to overcome circadian disruption.
- you have a bad sleeping pattern
- you get tired/depressed in winter
- you don’t really get much light
There’s a section of our brain which synchronises our body to a 24 hour cycle and releases hormones to regulate our regular bodily functions – things like:
- lack of sleep
- going to bed and waking up at strange hours
- shift work
- genetic factors
- lack of light.
When our circadian rhythms have been disrupted, it can have a range of impacts on our physical and mental health, such as:
- not being able to feel alert
- becoming easily agitated
- feeling slow
- feeling run down
- feeling exhausted
- feeling grumpy and irritable
- experiencing symptoms of depression.
There are a range of things people do to get their circadian schedule back in working order. The first step is to recognise and correct bad habits which could lead to problems. Make corrections such as:
- Don't take naps during the day.
- Allow yourself time to wind down at the end of the day. Check out some ways to relax.
- Get exposure to sunlight in the mornings.
- Get into regular sleeping routine – try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day and night.
- Eat and exercise regularly.
If this isn't working
Sometimes this isn’t quite enough and a doctor may need to help you with different strategies to kick your cycle back into the right pattern, including:
- light therapy – exposure to bright or blue light during the daytime can help your cycle realign
Your doctor will be able to work with you to figure out an approach that suits you and your lifestyle.
- Get tips on getting into a good sleeping routine.
- Try and get up and go to bed at the same time each day, allowing for 8-9 hours sleep each night.
- Get outside and enjoy the morning sunshine..............