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Resetting Your Circadian Rhythm

By Donna Stark

Do you find yourself tired and wanting to sleep during the day, but wide awake and unable to relax when it's time to go to bed at night? If so, your circadian rhythm may be out of whack, but fortunately, there's an easy fix for that. You just need to embrace the sunlight a bit more. Why sunlight? Well, because sunlight has been the natural "sleep-fixer" from the beginning of time. It's the silent alarm that tells our bodies when we should be waking up and when we should be falling asleep. But in the age of technology, and with all our exposure to artificial light, this natural alarm has unofficially been silenced. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to get your circadian rhythm back on track. 

You may be surprised by how simple these suggestions are and how quickly they can improve the quality of your life.

Design a Dark and Quiet Room

Quality sleep starts in the bedroom, so that's where we are going to start as well. Your bedroom should be dark. Like completely dark. You can achieve this by purchasing blackout curtains, removing all electronic devices, and by wearing an eye mask if necessary. If you need a nightlight for safety, make sure it is a dim one and try to keep it out of your line of sight.

Wake Up to Light

Just as you need complete darkness to fall asleep at night, you need exposure to light first thing in the morning. But don't choose artificial light over natural sunlight. Your best bet is to step outside as early as you can and let the sun shine down on your face. Even just a few minutes of doing this will make a huge impact on your day. It will help suppress melatonin and tell your body it's time to wake up! You'll be surprised by how well your body responds.

Do A Lot of Outdoorsy Stuff

Heading to the gym? Do your exercises outside. Meeting friends for lunch? Eat on the patio. Scheduled a client call in the afternoon? Take it while going on a walk. Why should you change your routine like this? Because sunlight is where it's at! It's important to expose your brain to sunlight during different times of the day so your circadian rhythm can naturally reset.

Getting the Sleep Your Body Needs

By following the suggestions above and matching your indoor lighting with the outdoors as much as you can, it won't be long before your body naturally knows when it is time for sleep and when it is time to be awake. Good luck and sweet dreams!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Woodbury, Minn. 

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