Maintaining Regular Circadian Rhythm to Deal with Sleep Deprivation


Lack of sleep is such a common thing to happen for everyone nowadays. Consequently, they may not get their full potential to carry out either their daily chores or work. This kind of phenomenon is undoubtedly detrimental both mentally and physically. Someone who is having sleep deprivation tends to lose focus easily because their energy is not fully-recovered. If you somehow feel the same way, you are more likely to procrastinate, get sleepy during the day, and not to mention exhausted in the short term. Sleep deprivation can interfere with work, school, driving, and social functioning. You might have trouble learning, focusing, and reacting. Also, you might find it hard to judge other people's emotions and reactions. Being sleep-deprived can make you feel frustrated, cranky, or worried in social situations. The thing is that the vast majority of people mostly take their nighttime lightly; thus, they end up sleeping late, even after midnight to dawn. Sleeping isn’t necessarily simply to sleep, but it is highly essential for our body to adjust the amount of energy that greatly influences our alertness and performance on a daily basis. To cope with sleep deprivation indeed takes considerable effort unless you are fully aware of how your circadian rhythm works. 

So, what exactly is the circadian rhythm? Simply put, circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that is part of your body’s internal clock, running in the background to carry out essential functions and processes. It can be referred to as the “sleep-wake” cycle as well. We all know that daytime is often associated with time for working and doing daily activities since our alertness and sharpness are in their best qualities. Likewise, nighttime is the right time for rest, not the other way around. Please keep in mind that you may not mess with your body's internal clock nor do unnecessary activity at night. Once you treat your circadian rhythm badly e.g., you sleep in the morning and stay up late at night, you are deemed to pay the price. 

A disturbed sleep-wake circadian rhythm can give rise to serious sleeping problems. Without the proper signaling from the body’s internal clock, you may struggle to fall asleep, wake up during the night, or be unable to sleep as long as you want until morning. Your total sleep time can be reduced, and a disrupted circadian rhythm can also mean shallower, fragmented, and lower-quality sleep. Keeping a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends, maintains the timing of your body's internal clock and can help you fall asleep and have a decent sleep.

Then, it is worth taking the solution into account as well. I offer two solutions here, reading a book before hitting the hay and rescheduling your sleeping time. Reading a book before sleep can trigger the state of being sleepy faster as it stimulates your brain to concentrate on the book while your brain itself isn’t in the vigorous state anymore. Your brain will gradually signal you that it’s time to sleep. Apart from that, rescheduling your sleeping time also matters. You better fix your sleeping time if you often stay up late, a.k.a night owl. Let’s say you frequently sleep at 1 a.m, you can change the time earlier than usual. Well, it’s just a matter of time until you get used to sleeping earlier. Extending the length of sleeping time is highly suggested, especially for college students. 

In conclusion, keeping the circadian rhythm requires strong will and consistency. Awareness of getting decent sleep isn’t something trivial. Rather, it has something to do with your well-being. Moreover, maintaining your early sleeping time is the same as preserving your internal organs. After all, your body deserves proper rest for every activity that you do along the way. Imagine how cruel you are if you don’t give a chance for your body to have a break.

Writer: M. Dimas Ferdiansyah

Editor: Elisabeth Grisella S.