It is no secret that many individuals struggle to obtain a good night's sleep. Stress, overnight shifts, and overwhelming workload can make quality sleep a rare and precious commodity. These challenges are part of a broader condition known as Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder (CRSD), which can significantly impact one's overall well-being. Understanding the nature of sleep difficulties and their effects on our lives is essential for finding effective solutions and improving our quality of life.
What is Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder?
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder refers to a disruption in the body's internal clock, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Our bodies have an inherent circadian rhythm, influenced by external factors such as light, temperature, and social cues. When this rhythm is disturbed, individuals may experience difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or maintaining regular sleep patterns.
Factors of Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder
There are several factors that can contribute to Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders (CRSDs). Here are some of the factors of CRSDs:
Excessive screen time: Exposure to electronic devices that emit blue light before bedtime could disrupt the body's natural sleep-wake cycle.
High-stress levels: Stress can lead to elevated levels of cortisol, a hormone that interferes with sleep patterns and can disrupt the circadian rhythm.
Shift work or overnight shifts: Working during the night or rotating shifts can severely disrupt the body's natural sleep patterns.
Environmental factors: Noise, temperature, and other environmental factors can impact the quality of sleep and disrupt the circadian rhythm, leading to difficulties falling asleep or maintaining sleep.
Medical conditions and medications: Certain medical conditions such as sleep apnea, depression, bipolar disorder, and neurological disorders can disrupt the circadian rhythm. Additionally, some medications, such as those used to treat asthma, allergies, or high blood pressure, can interfere with sleep patterns and contribute to CRSDs.
How to improve Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder with lifestyle changes
Improving CRSD requires a comprehensive approach that focuses on aligning your daily routines and habits with your body's natural sleep-wake cycle. These include:
Establish a consistent sleep schedule: Set a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day even on weekends to regulate your body's internal clock.
Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Engage in relaxing activities before bed such as reading a book, practicing deep breathing exercises, or taking a warm bath could signal your body that it's time to wind down.
Minimize exposure to blue light: Avoid electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets at least an hour before bedtime, or use blue light filters to reduce the impact on your circadian rhythm.
Create a sleep-friendly environment: Ensure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet to promote a restful sleep environment. Consider using blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine if needed.
Avoid stimulants and substances: Limit or avoid the consumption of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, especially in the evening. These substances can interfere with your sleep quality and disrupt your circadian rhythm. Instead, opt for herbal tea or other non-caffeinated beverages in the evening.
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Disclaimer: Survey conducted by Home Tester Club from 22/12/2022 to 21/2/2023, 158 members/ their family had surveyed.