1 week ago
Good sleep is a result of a dance between quantity (getting enough), quality (ensuring phases of deep sleep occur), and timing (doing it in sync with your natural body clock). It’s the latter factor that most typically gets overlooked. In our world of persistent connectivity, global travel, and on-demand everything, it can feel baffling that there are some fundamental biological laws of timing that are bigger than you and that you can’t outthink or outmaneuver.
These laws are governed by your circadian rhythm: the dominant internal clock that signals your body when to sleep, when to wake up, and when to eat. Your sleep-wake cycle is influenced by several external factors, including changes in temperature and crossing time zones (which is why jet lag throws your sleeping and eating off kilter). The primary factor that influences it, however, is exposure to regular rhythms of light and dark over 24-hour cycles. Your body, quite simply, is set up to entrain itself to the rhythm of the world you live in: to sleep when it’s dark, and to be wakeful when it’s light.