The sleep-wake rhythm : What is it, what does it do, and how does sleep wake up? And what effect has light on our sleep watchdog.
What is sleepwake rhythm?
We originate people when the sun rises and we will sleep when dark. Either way, we sleep at night and are awake during the day, duh.
In the first article in the series of understanding sleep you have already been able to read which sleep cycle we are going through each night. In this second part, there is another cycle that takes place 24 hours a day, the sleep wake cycle, or sleep wake up. This also affects the quality of the sleep cycle .
The biological clock
Our biological clock is tailored to the daylight , on the rise and undergo of the sun. Our body uses these “signals” to control our sleep behavior and energy levels. This sleep-watch rhythm, or day and night rhythm, is also called the Circadian rhythm. This is a Latin term meaning ” about a day “. This bio-rhythm not only regulates our sleep behavior, but also our energy level and our mood!
“About a day”
Operation of sleep wake rhythm
It’s not just a psychological process, on the contrary, even for the most part, it’s about a physiological process! And that process has its origin in the eyes.
A physiological process
Through our eyes light is brought to a certain area in our brain, the nucleus suprachiasmaticus , (yes yes!), Or the biological clock. Here, hormones are created such as serotonin and adrenaline. When it becomes dark, sleep hormones are created such as melatonin , orexin and adenosine.
We often get tired only an hour after the sun goes down, we usually do not have to go to bed. The process of production and deterioration of sleep and watch hormones takes time. Unfortunately, our sleep wake-up rhythm is not able to switch from sleep to sleep mode immediately, so you will not be able to immediately feel awake after your alarm clock has gone!
This makes it difficult for many people to fall asleep quickly. However, this is mainly in the usual habits! When you “counteract” the natural and physical process and continue to stimulate the production of the energy or watch hormones instead of its degradation. Therefore, the production of the sleep hormones continues, and the process , the transition period , will only be effective when you lie down! So it takes a while before you are physiologically ready to fall asleep.
It is often in the usual habits
How are we doing this? The answer is simple, by LIGHT . We often turn on late bright lights, or starve just before bedtime in a brightcomputer or TV screen!
Therefore, the solution to fall asleep quickly is also very simple! Promote the deterioration of guard hormones, and the production of sleep hormones by dimming the lights in the evening (at least one hour before bedtime) and not staring in bed before going to bed. Especially this blue light of monitors is killing! Read a book in the dark! uhh .. or with a little light :). Dim the lights in the evening is where it comes down.
Nowadays, there are also smart eyewear available that can provide a result. These so-called blue light filter glasses (also known as computer glasses ) filter the blue light from screens so that the above process is not disturbed (or less a lot)!
When the night runs out and the sun begins to recover, the body stops producing sleep hormones, and begins with the production of the energy hormones serotine, adrenaline and cortisol. This makes it much easier to get up with and by sunlight as opposed to rising with an alarm clock if it is still dark or in a “well” darkened bedroom. You therefore feel much more energized when you “wake up” of natural light! So it’s not so strange if you’re having trouble getting up with a “alarm”, this is simply not the natural way we know people of origin and where our body is on (instinct?).
Full energy wakes up through the sun
Would therefore so many people suffer from the bad habit known as ” Snooze “? (Read more about this bad habit in the previously published article Stop Snoozing! )
The above info is basically just the basis of the operation of sleep alertness . There is also a lot of distinction in types of light. Naturally, natural light is much more effective than artificial light , and there are many different colors of light, one color of which is more effective than the other color. I do not want to make an old story now, you’ll fall asleep! This is some information you can expect in later articles!
Update (7-8-13): You can now read more about the influence of light in a new article: The Influence of Daylight .
Update (2-9-15): I tested the blue light filter glasses from BlauBlock and wrote a review of my findings.
The Sleep Watching Rhythm and the Influence of Light play an important role in the 7-Step Sleeping Book. This e-book explains exactly what the effect of light on the hormones is and how this can help you fall asleep and sleep deeper.