Intuitively, we know that change is good. It may not always feel good but in the end we can usually see that the changes we have made were all for the best.
Over the past few months we have certainly had more than our fair share of changes! Yes, some change is good, but too many changes all at once can feel overwhelming. It can feel like you’ve lost your “rhythm.”
Have you been feeling like you’ve lost your rhythm?
When I experience too much change in my life, one of the first things I notice is that my sleep pattern gets all messed up. Some nights I have trouble falling asleep, other nights I fall asleep quickly but then I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about things that I don’t need to be thinking about at 3 a.m.! It’s so frustrating!!
Under normal circumstances, your body has a natural rhythm that lets you know when to wake up in the morning and when to start winding down in the evening. It’s a rhythm that we follow each and every day without even thinking about it.
This sleep/wake cycle, also known as your circadian rhythm, is basically a 24 hour internal clock that tells you when to eat, sleep and wake up each day. For most people, the ideal cycle includes 7 to 9 hours of sleep (preferably at night) and 15 to 17 hours of being awake.
These natural, internal cycles are controlled by an area of your brain that responds to light which explains why we are more alert when the sun is shining and we are ready for sleep when it’s dark outside. Circadian rhythms can vary from person to person (ie. “morning people” vs. “night owls”) and they can also change as you age.
When you follow your bodies natural cues regarding when to go to sleep and when to wake up, your body should stay in a good rhythm. However, when we experience significant changes in our schedule, it can easily disrupt this delicate balance. No worries though because I have a few suggestions that can help you to get back on track. Although these may seem obvious, putting them into practice can be a total game changer!
1. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule – Going to bed at the same time every day is definitely important but you also need to wake up at the same time each day. Although it can be tempting to “catch up” on your sleep on the weekends, this can actually throw you off even more. In other words, stick with the same sleep schedule every day of the week.
2. Get Outside in the A.M. – Exposure to the sun first thing in the morning not only gives you an energy boost, but it’s the easiest way to reset your circadian rhythm. Sunlight is a signal to your brain telling you it’s time to start your day. And if you’re not able to get outside, the next best thing would be to turn on the brightest light in your house and gaze at that for a few minutes. Seriously…..this will work in a pinch!
3. Turn Down the Lights in the P.M. – Artificial bright lights in the evening can confuse your body into thinking it is still daylight. This is why you want to turn off all of your electronics off at least 2 hours before your bedtime.
Change is inevitable…..we can either fight it or we can flow with it. I have found that when I simply accept this state of imbalance and trust in my ability to get back on track, I am always able to find my rhythm again. This I know for sure!
If you’ve been struggling with too many changes in your life, hit reply and let’s chat. You never know…..chatting with me might be exactly what you need to get yourself back on track!