Self Care

9 Tips For Getting Your Circadian Rhythm Back on Track

Stuck in a funk? Working on those sleep habits is a serious act of self-care. Here’s what you need to know.

By: Dominique Astorino

Has your sleep schedule been all over the place? Is your routine out of whack? Have you been watching TikTok until 1 am and feeling gross the next day…. Every day? 

Sleep is the absolute foundation for the rest of our health — both physically and mentally. Without good quality, consistent sleep, we absolutely cannot survive — let alone thrive!

If a change in schedule or habits has left you off-kilter and you’re not getting to bed at a reasonable time, or your quality of sleep is lacking, we have some tips and tricks to reset your circadian rhythm. 

Because, getting you back on a healthy sleep cycle will help support all aspects of your health and wellness, from immunity to how well you do in your workouts. 

9 Tips to Reset That Circadian Rhythm 

#1 Force Yourself to Get up Early

Step one of resetting your sleep clock starts with getting up bright and early, whether you feel like it or not. It will be uncomfortable, and you will want to sleep in — but remember your goal. If you have some time to work with (like a couple weeks), you can slowly inch back in 30-minute increments. 

Let’s break it down. If you’re currently getting up at 11 am, try for 10:30 tomorrow, 10:00 the next day, then 9:30, and so on and so forth. If you want to hit the ground running, go for your optimal wakeup straight out the gates.

#2 Let The Light in

Indirect sun exposure — whether that’s by a brightly lit window, an LED lightbox, on your patio, or during a stroll outside — within the first 60 minutes of waking for 30 minutes, can help reset your body. That early light helps to quickly suppress your melatonin production, which in turn, gets that rhythm back on track. 

#3 Work Out Early

Try working out first thing in the morning to signal to your body and brain that it’s “wake up time.” Avoid working out at night — at least for now, while you’re resetting — because even though some studies show it’s fine, there is a chance you may disrupt your sleep schedule. Better to err on the side of caution and use a morning workout to your advantage.

Some of our fav workouts you can try first thing in the morning include: Be Well Balanced Yoga, 20/20 HIIT, Ballet Burn, Cardio Tone & Dance

#4 Limit Caffeine

This means limiting the quantity and the window of time! Only one cup of coffee, at least for now. That goes for any form of caffeine, really, whether you survive on a daily cup of joe or you’re a tea drinker. And keep a hard cutoff at 11 am to noon, depending on your bedtime and wake time.

#5 Stay Hydrated Throughout The Day

Did you know that dehydration can negatively affect your sleep cycle? Drinking water throughout the day can improve your energy levels and help to recalibrate your body, bringing you back to homeostasis. And, drinking water just before bedtime may also help your circadian rhythm, according to some studies.

#6 Resist The Nap Temptation  

We know it’s tempting. We know you’re sleepy (especially if you got up way, way earlier than you wanted to). But, it will throw off all the hard work you’re putting into your sleep clock reset.

#7 Set a Bedtime, and Stick to it. 

It’s so important to make sure you’re really sticking to a routine when you’re getting this rhythm on track. After all, you can’t keep a rhythm if you’re all over the place!

#8 Take a Warm Shower or Bath Before Bed 

Warming therapy can get your body to unwind, relax, and let go of any anxiety that may trouble you before bed (thereby preventing you from falling asleep and getting your circadian rhythm set). A warm nighttime shower can signal to your brain that it’s time for bed, especially if you make it part of your wind-down routine.

#9 Stop Looking at Screens

Don’t add blue light into the mix! During your resetting efforts, give yourself a two-hour before-bedtime cutoff. If you’re going to bed at 9:30 pm, stop looking at your phone and turn the TV off at 7:30 pm. You will thank us, promise.

Make Quality Sleep A Priority 

We can’t stress the importance of quality sleep enough — having a goal to reset your circadian rhythm is a true act of self-care. So, keep at all of the above until you feel settled and like your sleep clock is back into its natural cycle (with a wakeup time that works for you, and with restful, good quality sleep!).

This list might feel like a lot, but we promise it’s simpler than it sounds and it’ll get your body back on track in no time. From there, you’ll be feeling more refreshed and rested, more energized, healthier, stronger, and more positive (what’s not to love about all of that?). 

If you’re in a funk, this is a simple, free, effective way to start to turn things around, and to create a healthy foundation to support all your other wellness goals. At the very least, you’ll be a bit more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.