The importance of time for insomnia: the circadian clock

The routine, so reviled in the field of relationships and personal development, becomes our best ally against insomnia. Many sleep disorders could be solved by imposing regular sleep and wake schedules. In this way, our circadian clock would work perfectly and we would recover the sleep cycle. But we know that it is not always possible to keep the biological clock on time.

Regular sleeping hours

  • Sleep specialists agree on some basic premises in acting against insomnia. A bedroom that invites you to sleep, a single objective, which is to sleep, and correct sleep hygiene, which includes a regular schedule to differentiate sleep from wakefulness. Always going to bed at the same time and always getting up at the same time is one of the best methods of preventing insomnia.
  • Those regular sleep schedules or that sleep routine causes us to recover the natural sleep cycle by making our biological clock or circadian rhythm work. When we are suffering from insomnia, we are altering that circadian rhythm and confusing our body because it does not sleep when it needs to. This is the origin of the worse quality of life that insomnia produces.
  • But we know that it’s not always possible to stick to a regular sleep schedule. Weekends are the great enemies of the sleep routine, as well as a baby in the family, noise from outside or employment when it comes to a shift worker. The turns are the workhorse of rest and the truth is that there are countless professions that require this type of turns.

How shift work influences sleep quality

  • Shift work negatively affects the quality of sleep and a large number of people who work in this way suffer from insomnia. The main reason is that they cannot follow a regular sleep schedule that allows them to follow their circadian rhythm. Because the circadian rhythm is the same for all people, it is not governed by customs, but by physiological needs. And it is a daylight-activated watch that minimizes its activity between 03:00 and 06:00.
  • The body asks for sleep, it needs a rest and regeneration from all the activity. That’s the function of the circadian rhythm that goes down at certain hours of the night. A professional who works in shifts alters that rhythm by imposing another rhythm on his body, we could say, unnatural. Avoiding insomnia problems in these cases is even more difficult due to both this alteration of the sleep cycle and the difficulty in sleeping when the rest of the people are already awake.

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