Why Is Your Circadian Rhythm Important?
When most adults hear the term “circadian rhythm,” they instantly think of the cycle of day and night. Some may even go so far as to say that it’s why we sleep at night and are awake during the day. But there’s more to it than that, with many answers to the question, “Why is my circadian rhythm important?”
The purpose of the circadian rhythm
Aside from the light/dark element, our circadian rhythms act as a biological clock, dictating how and when our body performs certain functions that are critical to our overall health. Sleep is a major component of our daily cycle, as are body temperature, hormone secretion, and metabolism. When we allow our bodies to follow their own natural 24-hour cycles, the body is able to repair, restore, and refresh itself.
Each of us has our own circadian rhythm, and not everyone starts their “cycle” at the same time. For some, their rhythm may follow a traditional 24-hour cycle in their own timezone, waking with the sun and functioning in that rhythm throughout a “normal” workday. For others, their cycle might start in the middle of the day, operating on a different schedule from others. While our sleep habits are often what we consider as an indication of our rhythms (i.e. when we say someone is a “night owl” or “early bird”), there are many other ways that these cycles show up in our daily lives.
What time we get hungry, when we feel most alert, when we crave exercise or activity, and when we notice peaks and valleys in our energy; these are all signs of our internal clock at work. For most adults, their circadian rhythm goes unnoticed throughout the course of their busy day: we eat when we have a break, we sleep when we get everything done, and we exercise when we have the time (read: never).
But when we disrupt or ignore our circadian rhythms, there are often wide-spread consequences.
How a circadian rhythm becomes unbalanced
Science has recently started to really study the importance of the circadian rhythm and the effects of an imbalance. While we all know that not getting enough sleep can have a negative impact, the circadian rhythm may be impacted by other factors like:
- Work schedules (especially night and shift work)
- How much we eat and when
- How much exercise we get
- How much caffeine we consume
- Medications we take or medical treatments we receive
- Stress levels from work, home, etc.
- Diseases (virtually anything that disrupts normal function in the body)
- Sleep disorders, also called dyssomnias
- Jet lag
- Exposure to blue light (i.e. the screens we surround ourselves with)
Each of these factors can play a role in an imbalanced circadian rhythm… but how bad can that really be?
Effects of an imbalanced circadian clock
As we mentioned above, your biological clock guides most of the major systems and processes in your body — from how much you eat, how much you sleep, to how well your body secretes hormones and more. Think of your circadian rhythm as a well-oiled machine; if something blocks its normal flow, everything can get thrown off.
Studies are now beginning to show the effects of circadian rhythm imbalance and they are widespread. Just a few examples include:
- High cholesterol
- Anxiety and depression
- Insomnia and other dyssomnias
- Heart disease
- Impaired cognition and memory
- Hormonal imbalance
The list goes on, but this gives you a picture of just how much your body relies on the circadian rhythm to heal and thrive. Sometimes, we can’t help how our daily lives affect our circadian rhythm; not all of us can switch our night shift jobs or eat when our body naturally craves food, or reduce our stress levels.
Instead, you’ll need to find ways to naturally support your circadian clock in ways you can control. RestoreZ understands the science behind the circadian rhythm and has created a line of natural supplements designed to support your cycle. These supplements help resynchronize your body with its internal clock so you get more restful and restorative sleep.
Learn more about how RestoreZ may help you maintain a balanced circadian rhythm.