How to Reset Your Circadian Rhythm / Body Clock with Two Simple Strategies

Have you heard of circadian rhythms, or body
clocks? Do you ever feel like yours is messed up, and it’s affecting your sleep, your stress
levels, and more? In this video I’m going to share with you how to fix your circadian
rhythm. This is The Dr. K Show. I’m Dr. Karthik Ramanan. I help ambitious
individuals end self criticism with tools and strategies to create optimal everyday
mental health. If you’re new here and you need to silence that negative voice in your
head to get out of your own way, I’m here for you. I encourage you to subscribe right
now. It’s Showtime. Our circadian rhythm, or body clock, is present
in humans and other organisms. Animals, plants, fungi, even some bacteria. These rhythms are
generated within the living being but are greatly influenced by outside forces including
sunlight and temperature. They influence hormone levels, brain activity, cell regeneration,
and so much more. Unfortunately in our modern world of blue screens, artificial lights,
and constant eating patterns, we have created an environment that pulls us away from our
circadian rhythm, and doing so is associated with various chronic diseases and negative
states of mental health. Before we go into this, I want you to understand
the importance of melatonin and cortisol. You can think of melatonin as your “stay asleep”
hormone, and cortisol is one of your alertness and stress hormones. Now if you’re thinking
melatonin, stay asleep, I want that to be high at night and drop in the morning….
And cortisol, stress, alertness, I want that to be higher during the day and drop toward
the evening. You’d be right! Unfortunately we’ve created an environment where that doesn’t
always hold true. So how do we fix it? First, fix your light exposure. Did you know
that we have a protein called melanopsin that senses blue light, and it’s responsible for
essentially synchronizing the brain clock. When melanopsin in our eye is exposed to bright
daylight, which is largely blue light, we become more alert, energized. Depression is
reduced. What’s interesting about melanopsin is that it’s not as sensitive to orange light,
only blue light. When melanopsin is exposed to orange light, it’s as if it’s dark outside.
But what do we typically experience? We’re indoors during much of the day and exposed
to blue screens at night. This is the exact opposite of how we’re wired, so it’s no wonder
why our body clock is offset and struggles to adequately reset. To fix your light exposure, spend some time
outside as soon as you wake up. Take in the sun. And spend more time outside during the
day. Go for a quick 5 minute walk during your lunch break. Sit near a window. And I know
that’s not always possible. I get it. When I worked on Wall Street, for a few years there
I had a desk that was on the interior of the building, and I had no idea whether it was
8 AM or 9 PM. It messed with my brain and my health. But I also never made it a priority
to expose myself to sunlight as much as I could during the day. Like everything, if
it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. Power tip: going for a walk, jog, or run outside
in the morning will further enhance this circadian resetting effect. Are you getting value out of this? Hit that
like button. Next, fix your food schedule. We also have
daily rhythms in our metabolism and gut microbiome. We are constantly in a fed state in our society
these days. That is to say, it’s rare that we’re not actively digesting food during our
awake hours. Intermittent fasting is a simple way to take in the same caloric value of food
while still resetting the circadian clock, feeling more energized during the day, sleeping
better at night, and even losing weight too. An easy way to start is to ensure your first
meal of the day and your last meal of the day fall within a 12 hour window. As you move
forward, you can try tightening that window. Also, don’t eat within 3 hours of bed time. Bonus tip: get your diurnal cortisol tested.
When you do, your doctor will be able to see where your cortisol levels are throughout
the day and make adjustments to your supplements as needed to give you a further boost in the
right direction. Question of the Day: What’s one way you’re
committed to normalizing your circadian rhythm? If you feel like being awesome, let me know
in the comments below. Today’s Progress Success is brought to you
by Jake Krokowski. He shared with me that he realized, “No matter the stage or season
we’re in… we all share the same human fears and concerns. Imposter Syndrome and the Dunning-Kruger
effect are things to be acknowledged, managed, and discussed…basically as long as we’re
in this entrepreneurship game!” Thanks for sharing Jake, and even if we’re
not in the entrepreneurship game, your words ring true. Awesome progress! “I don’t have enough time.” I can’t tell you
how long those words haunted me. And if you’re an ambitious individual, you might not feel
like you have enough time either. Enough time to work on your dreams. Enough time to spend
with your loved ones. Enough time to improve yourself. I get it. Let’s remember something. The 24 hour clock,
the concept of hours, minutes, and seconds, weeks, months, years… these are all human-created
concepts of time. Time in its absolute discrete form doesn’t exist in nature. Rather, organisms
like us humans run on rhythms. Circadian rhythms or your body clock. Menstrual cycles. Seasonal
rhythms. These are not absolute forms of time, but they absolutely govern our life and the
lives of every living being. For those of you like me who live by the calendar,
who HATE to be even a minute late to a meeting, who constantly feel there aren’t enough hours
in the day… What if instead of stressing ourselves out living like that, we instead
chose to live by a different construct of time? What if we DECIDED in THIS MOMENT that
we are NOT going to say “I don’t have the time” and instead focused on “What am I going
to do with the time I DO have?” Ever tried to work out when your body wasn’t awake? Ever
tried to write when you were feeling anxious? Ever tried to sleep when your body was too
alert? These are examples of us trying so desperately hard to live by our construct
of time when our body clock and rhythms are influencing us to do otherwise. What if instead we figured out how to take
this moment, where we are in our rhythms, our cycles, our clocks and choose a task that
that best suited our present state? Can we live entirely that way as an ambitious, goal-oriented
individual? Realistically, probably not! But I guarantee you that if we focused on normalizing
and resetting our circadian rhythm with appropriate blue and orange light exposure, intermittent
fasting, and structuring a more fluid calendar around our present state, we would accomplish
a whole lot more. And, we’d be less anxious, less depressed, and more resilient. Your health
deserves it. Your brain deserves it. You deserve it. I believe in your greatness.