Circadian rhythms are internal changes that set the timing for and regulate various processes such as sleep-wake cycles, hormonal activity, body temperature, eating and digestion.
When properly aligned, a circadian rhythm can promote consistent and restorative rest that, in turn, increases alertness for daytime activity. However, when your circadian rhythm is thrown off, the body’s systems do not function properly, leading to sleeping problems.
A disturbed sleep-wake circadian rhythm can lead a person to struggle to fall asleep, wake up during the night, or be unable to remain asleep longer than usual in the morning. A disrupted circadian rhythm leads to reduced sleep overall, which means shallower, fragmented, and lower-quality sleep.
Although we do not have complete control over our circadian rhythm, there are several ways to try and better regulate our 24-hour sleep cycles