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How to find your circadian rhythm

Sleep Science
October 25, 2022

Our circadian rhythms are natural 24-hour cycles that regulate mental, physical and biological changes in the body.

Affecting bodily changes such as body temperature, hormones and eating habits, our circadian rhythms are regulated by the body’s internal clock.

The sleep-wake cycle is the circadian rhythm that shapes our sleep and wakefulness over the course of 24 hours.

How light affects your circadian rhythms

Environmental factors such as light signal to our sleep-wake cycle when we should feel awake and when we should feel sleepy.

Exposure to natural light in the morning activates your body clock and signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up. As daylight fades, your eyes tell your brain to make more melatonin and that it’s time to fall asleep.

Aligning your wake up to your circadian rhythm

Listening to your body, not the clock, plays an important role in your sleep health.

If you struggle to wake up in the morning, you can help shift your body clock by getting outside at the start of the day. Any outdoor physical activity during the earlier part of your day, even a short walk, will be beneficial for your circadian rhythm.

During the winter we should try to maximise the amount of daylight we receive as there is less natural light overall. Adjusting to a slightly earlier bedtime and wake-up gives us the opportunity to make the most of mood-boosting natural light.

Wake up with a motion-sensing smart alarm

Another way to improve your wake-up experience is using a motion-sensing smart alarm like Sleepwave which helps combat sleep inertia and lingering grogginess. Instead of sounding at a fixed time such as 7am, you set a 15 minute wake-up window such as 7-7:15am. Sleepwave’s breakthrough technology then detects your movements and alertness and wakes you up at a great moment, giving you a better start to your day.

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