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How Circadian Rhythms Affect Energy Levels and Sleep

Updated: Feb 12

When it comes to improving our health, movement, and sleep, our energy levels play a big part. They may feel like something we can control through diet or caffeine intake, but in fact there is a natural rhythm that our bodies tend to follow.


In this guide, learn more about this rhythm, and how you can make the most of them to live a happier, more energetic lifestyle.


WHAT IS CIRCADIAN RHYTHM?

Your circadian rhythm is a biological clock set to our standard 24 hour day, supporting your brain and body to feel alert or sleepy at the appropriate times of day. It is also known as a sleep/wake cycle, and it involves the following areas of your body:


  • Alertness

  • Blood pressure

  • Body temperature

  • Bowel movements

  • Coordination

  • Heart rate

  • Melatonin secretion

  • Reaction time

  • Sleepiness

  • Testosterone secretion


Our circadian rhythm is important because it maintains our body’s natural cycle each day. It changes how well we can concentrate, how well our body performs, and how we feel, too.


When you take up a 4U Pilates Movement Class, you’ll focus a week of home learning on this rhythm, and see how well your own daily routine matches up with your body’s circadian rhythm.


HOW DOES THE CIRCADIAN RHYTHM AFFECT ENERGY LEVELS AND SLEEP?

As previously mentioned, our circadian rhythm influences how our body, mind, and hormones. One important part of this is our melatonin levels, a hormone that is secreted towards the end of an evening to naturally make you feel ready to sleep.


This image and article from the National Sleep Council shows the time of day that our sleep urge grows and wanes, and alongside it, our need for sleep.



Our time in bed is largely controlled by our circadian rhythm, as well as sleep pressure, and our body clock, which can alter the effects of our circadian rhythm if forced to change.


This explains why it is important that we strengthen our body clocks to develop a regular sleep and wake up time. Going to bed at the same time each night will help, as will waking at the same time each morning – even at the weekend! Exposure to light in the morning also helps to reset circadian rhythms as well as giving a much-needed energy boost.


Conversely, our energy levels throughout the day rise and fall based on our circadian rhythm - so similarly to the exposure to daylight in the morning will permit you to increase your energy levels, taking up exercise later on in the day, and ensuring a set period of time in bed each night, you’ll find you’re more energised in the day.


If you’d like to find out more, or find ways to get back into balance with your natural rhythm and energy levels, contact us or take a look at our holistic movement classes and restorative treatments.

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