We all have something known as a circadian rhythm, this is essentially our ‘body clock.’ It is something that happens in a 24-hour cycle and works for us to help carry out functions in our lives that are essential overall.
When your circadian rhythm is as it should be, our bodies go through the right processes at around the best times each night/day. For instance, you’re sleeping at night, and you’re awake during the day. Your body is functioning properly and things are all lined up as they should be for your typical human being. I know, that might sound a bit confusing but please, stick with me.
SleepFoundation.org wrote as follows about the things that we tend to face when our circadian rhythm is off:
When circadian rhythm is thrown off, it means that the body’s systems don’t function optimally.
A disturbed sleep-wake circadian rhythm can give rise to serious sleeping problems. Without the proper signaling from the body’s internal clock, a person can struggle to fall asleep, wake up during the night, or be unable to sleep as long as they want into the morning. Their total sleep can be reduced, and a disrupted circadian rhythm can also mean shallower, fragmented, and lower-quality sleep.
In addition, studies have identified circadian rhythm disruptions as potential contributors15 to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder marked by repeated lapses in breathing. OSA reduces the body’s oxygen levels and causes numerous sleep interruptions through the night.
As a whole, a misaligned circadian rhythm can negatively affect sleep in many ways, increasing a person’s risk of insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness. Given the essential role of sleep for productivity and overall health, there are often significant consequences when a person’s circadian rhythm is off.
According to NYTimes when we eat overall can have an effect on our rhythm overall. When we eat our meals during the day with our first bite of food being in the morning and last being in the early evening, we are aligning most properly with our circadian rhythm cycle in itself. We are essentially flowing as the code says we should. This is overall something known as ‘time-restricted feeding’ and a lot of people swear by it.
According to Healthline, “some researchers hypothesize that eating at night goes against your circadian rhythm.” This basically reiterating that nighttime overall is not a period during which we should be eating. Night-time based on the circadian rhythm is a time for resting and sleeping, not eating. That being said, the research on this is a bit conflicting which was also noted by Healthline.
A lot of people seem to think that eating at night can also lead to an increase in weight gain which may very well be the case, however, the research on that in itself is not as clear as we might hope for it to be. It does make sense though as we do tend to eat more at night when we are trying to wind down than we would if we were just finishing dinner earlier in the evening while still more energized. Is this true for you?
To learn more the circadian rhythm and habits that go along with it take a look at the video below. I know, it might sound odd, but it’s worth keeping in mind. Do you think this kind of thing affects us as much as it seems to?