Doctor insights on:
Circadian Rhythm Chart
Circadian rhythm: Circadian rhythm refers to a natural physiologic cycle in which certain processes ebb and flow in a predictable pattern over the day. In humans the basic cycle is tied to the sun with sleeping at night and activity during the day. But there are other cycles. For example, your lung airways naturally get tighter at night (4 am) and that is why asthma patients often get their first symptoms at night. ...Read more
Rhythm "any regular recurring motion, symmetry may be generally defined as a movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions, this general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time may be applied to a wide variety of cyclical natural phenomena having a periodicity or frequency of anything microseconds ...Read more
Light / dark: The brain takes in light in decreasing and increasing amounts depending on time of day and time of year, and a center in the brain, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, placed over the optic nerves, takes the information, and sets the "internal clock". This nucleus tells the pineal gland when to secrete melatonin, the hormone that tells us when we're supposed to get sleepy. ...Read more
Yes: The common ingredients for changing your circadian or "daily" rhythm is about two key things: light and melatonin. There are two types of disorders regarding circadian rhythm, delayed sleep phase and advanced sleep phase. In delayed sleep phase disorder, you go to bed late and wake up late. The corrective treatment is to have light exposure when you wake up and take melatonin before bed. Suerte. ...Read more
Long distance travel: Across numerous time zones. Or rarely from a pituitary tumor. These two examples are assuming that your circadian rhythm was working normally in the first place. Many people have an abnormal circadian rhythm, for totally unknown reasons causing them to produce more urine by night than during the day. This causes bedwetting in some subjects. ...Read more
They do: I've been practicing medicine in the midwest for 23 years. Between october and march, we may get 2-3 minutes worth of sun in 6 months. Vitamind deficiency is scarily common here, so anything that can safely provide light therapy without increasing skin damage i strongly recommend. Sorry, I might have exaggerated a bit on the midwest sunlight thing. We get 10 minutes... ...Read more
Time change: Time change and when it gets lights and dark affect your circadian rhythm. Body is responding to light and dark cues so when people travel those clues are given at "incorrect" time. Your body doesnot kow what to expect until it adapts over a few days. In general expect about 1-2 days for every hour of time difference. ...Read more
Yes: Natural circadian rhythm is known to be 25 hours. The "clock" is in the part of the brain which computes our ability to adapt to the mental and physical stresses imposed by environment. We compress the 25 hour to a 24-hour rhythm, thus adapting to our world. The 24-hour rhythm obeys the dark/light cycle and is indeed controlled by the computer in the brain. ...Read more
Morning: It must be full spectrum white light. These are expensive. Used for "winter blues", technically known as seasonal adaptive disorder causing depression. Exposure to this light for about 2 hours at sunrise is often curative. The incas used to lie down at sunrise to expose themselves to the sun as part of their health program. ...Read more
Habit: Circadian rhythm is a natural inborn function so if it is off it is usually because you got in a habit that got it off.... So get in a new habit or routine. Waking regularly, eating regularly, going to bed regularly. Meditation can help as well as it relaxes the body. Acupuncture also can help by helping to restore balance to the body's functions. ...Read more
Slowly: You can change you wake sleep pattern slowly. If you have trouble falling asleep melatonin may help. I prefer the sublingual that goes under the tongue because the timing of the effect is more consistent. 1-3 mg is a usual starting dose. ...Read more
Not really: Light therapy, chronotherapy, melatonin have be used with varying degrees of success. In my own experience, adjusting your professional/social timetabe around your biological clock is more productive than vice versa. ...Read more
Sleep: Sleep is important for health and wellness. Maintaining a consistent sleep cycle is optimal. Ideally waking at the same time every day after a full 8-9 hours of sleep will add years to your life and enhance your well-being. Additional lifestyle behaviors with similar benefits include healthy diet, exercise, active social engagement and close family ties. ...Read more
Melatonin: Melatonin can be taken to help correct the circadian rhythm. Also, get up at the same time every morning even on weekends. Don't stay up late/sleep in late on weekends. You will have trouble on monday if you do. Avoid reading or watching tv in bed. Cut down or eliminate caffeine. If you are tired in the afternoon don't nap (or very brief nap only) then go to bed early (instead of napping). ...Read more
What's better: to find and keep my own circadian rhythm, or try to orientate my rhythms to the sun?
Circadian external: Unfortunately the circadian rhythm has to do with all external factors not our own "internal clock" since that is under another mechanism of homeostatic sleep drive. To orient yourself, using external clues like th sun is important. Don't underestimate unplanned light (like computers, televisions and phones) that are working against us (esp. At night). ...Read more
What's better: to find and keep my own circadian rhythm, or try to orientate my rhythms to the sun?
Body rhythms: Ah, this is a philosophical question. It is not important which you choose, as neither is necessarily the "right" one. It is important that you choose the one that aligns with your body-mind-spirit. It takes some knowing yourself to do this. There certainly are people who are night owls and this works for them. But, in general, unless you have special needs, aligning with the sun is always good. ...Read more
I think I broke my circadian rhythm. I'm now waking up before the sun even comes up. How to reset it?
Takes time : Jet lag recovery takes time, some say a full day for every hour of time zone change to fully recover. Use morning coffee, daylight exposure and exercise to maintain alertness and try to stay up until "bed time" at your destination (even if destination is "home"!). ...Read more
What are some ways you can regulate your circadian rhythm naturally and without the use of light or darkness?
Zeitgeber: You should try to look up zeitgebers. They are what help to entrain us to our 24 hour circadian rhythm. Light is the strongest of zeitgebers, however there are some medications that may help. Keeping a regular bedtime/wake time and meal times may also help. ...Read more
Exercise in day: One of the best ways to reset your circadian rhythm (e.g. after jet-lag or shift work), is to make sure you exercise, at least 15 minutes during the daylight. Ideally >6 hours before bed time. Also, wake up at your desired time, don't take naps, and avoid caffeine 6-8 hours before bedtime. Avoid T.V. in bedroom, to prevent insomnia. ...Read more
Melatonin: Melatonin feeds the system in regard to pineal glad. Melatonin is the "anti light hormone" so when our body should be preparing for sleep at night, melatonin is secreted telling us to prepare for sleep. What it is not is a sleep aid. Taking supplemental melatonin can be helpful if we are relatively difficient or are trying to iatrogenically adjust our rhythm (shift work, jet lag, etc). ...Read more
Light/dark cycle: Melatonin is a hormone released by the pineal gland. This gland is connected to the nerves emanating from your eyes, and when it is dark, the gland releases melatonin. It is thought that melatonin helps you fall asleep. Melatonin is available commercially, and it may help people fall asleep. Melatonin may also help shift the body clock forward or backward, depending on when it is taken. ...Read more
Change schedule: Depending on how long before your trip, change your schedule 15 to 30 minutes everyday closer to the time it will be when you arrive in china. In other words change your "time zone" before you travel. ...Read more
Yes: The bluish color emited by computer monitors, tvs and other screens supresses melatonin production. Melatonin is your body's natural sleep hormone; it helps set your internal clock. When it is supressed you don't feel sleepy or sleep poorly. If you are bothered by computer work or tv watching simply turn off the devices 4 or more hours before bedtime to allow your body to release melatonin. ...Read more
Is it possible to regulate circadian rhythm using temperature? I cannot see, and so light is useless.
It may help: You should try to look up zeitgebers. They are what help to entrain us to our 24 hour circadian rhythm. Light is the strongest of zeitgebers, however there are some medications that may help. Keeping a regular bedtime/wake time and meal times may also help. ...Read more
Is it ok that i always sleep at 2am and wake at 8am-9:30am? Does it affect my circadian rhythm badly?
Not yet: Most circadian rhythm testing is based on levels of melatonin in the body. These tests are usually only performed in research laboratories and not in your doctors office. Sometimes questionnaires and a form of sleep wake monitoring called actigraphy is helpful in determining an individuals general circadian rhythm. ...Read more
The circadian rhythm (biological clock) is the daily cycle of physical and mental activity in the body, based on a 24-hour period. The circadian rhythm helps regulate a person's sleep/wake cycle, and is affected by variations in the environment, such as the amount of daylight, the length of the night, the ...Read more