Are you a morning or an evening person?

The sleep-wake cycle.

Many people with functional symptoms experience a disrupted sleep-wake cycle.

Dysregulated sleep may come about for a number of reasons. But however the problem develops, once our sleep cycle in out of sync, this feeds a vicious cycle. You have probably noticed yourself how poor sleep makes many symptoms, for example inflammation or pain, worse.

 The most powerful way to regulate the body clock is to sync it daily with morning light from the sun. 

A regular sleep wake-cycle depends on a regular body-clock.

There are huge benefits of getting the body clock back in sync with the sun. This can stop you feeling jetlagged, and help coordinate the body’s functions, helping with various symptoms.

To shift the sleep-wake cycle successfully, it helps to understand about chronotypes.

 

Chronotypes

The body clock keeps its own time, if not synced to regular light cues. It runs close to around 24 hours, very similar to the length of a day on earth.

However for 20% of people, the body clock naturally runs to less than 24 hours. This means that naturally, they will wake up a little earlier and earlier every day. These are early chronotypes.

For 40% of people, the body clock runs longer than 24 hours. They naturally will want to go to bed and wake up a little later every day. These are late chronotypes.

Although keeping routines can be challenging for all of us, late chronotypes can have particular problems with their body clock falling out of sync with the sun and social time.

There are different appraoches to shifting the sleep-wake cycle depending on your chronotype. You can read our advice here.