Circadian Rhythm and Factors Affecting Rhythm Negatively

Murat Balanlı, MD
21 November 2022

The circadian rhythm is your internal clock that determines when you wake up, when you sleep, and how your energy fluctuates throughout the day. Just as there are things you can do to support your body's internal clock, you may be doing or experiencing things that cause it to malfunction.


So, what are the things that negatively affect the circadian rhythm?

Having an irregular sleep schedule: The body likes consistency when it comes to sleep. If you go to bed and wake up at different times each day, your circadian rhythm and subsequently your energy levels will be negatively affected.

Use of electronic devices late at night: The use of electronic devices and bright light, especially before sleep, suppresses melatonin and disrupts your circadian rhythm.

Being stressed: Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), which causes the release of the stress hormone cortisol. High cortisol levels at bedtime can disrupt your body's internal clock, causing you to stay awake.

Presence of dysbiosis: Dysbiosis is the name given to the imbalance that develops in the ratio of beneficial and harmful bacteria in the intestines. This imbalance increases inflammation in the body and is the root cause of many diseases. In addition, it can significantly reduce sleep quality. Studies have shown that sleep apnea, insomnia, and narcolepsy are linked to certain imbalances in the microbiome.

Lack of exercise: Sleep and exercise have a bidirectional relationship. Exercise improves sleep quality, while quality sleep improves physical performance. Conversely, however, lack of exercise can negatively affect sleep, and insufficient sleep can reduce physical performance. In order for you to sleep better at night, your body must be tired during the day and have lost a certain amount of energy. When you don't have a regular exercise routine, you are likely to experience sleep problems.

Eating large meals before bedtime: Eating larger meals earlier in the day and choosing smaller meals late at night are known to improve sleep quality. It is very important that the feeding ends 3-4 hours before going to sleep and that the body has now done the digestion work.

Page content is for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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