Sleep Syncing and How Does it Help

Sleep syncing harmonises your schedule with natural sleep cycles, improving rest quality. By aligning your activities with your internal clock, you can experience more energy, fewer mood swings and more.

By URLife Team
17 Dec 2023

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 adults are not getting enough rest or sleep every day. Further, 40 per cent of adults report falling asleep during the day without meaning to at least once a month.


Are you tossing and turning despite following good sleep hygiene? Maybe it's not just about how you're sleeping, but when. The fix: sleep syncing—an approach that tunes your bedtime to align with your body's internal clock. Sleep syncing is when you sync up with your body’s natural windows of wakefulness and drowsiness. It's about aligning sleep schedules with times when your body naturally feels ready for rest and when it's primed to wake up refreshed. Understanding these rhythms can help craft a sleep schedule that maximises the quality of your sleep.


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What Is The Circadian Rhythm and Circadian Rhythm Synchronisation?

Circadian rhythm refers to the 24-hour biological clock that regulates various physiological processes in our body such as sleep, metabolism, and hormone production. Our body has an internal clock that is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the brain. This clock is responsible for regulating our bodily functions that are essential for maintaining overall health.


Related story: Yoga Postures For Good Sleep


Circadian rhythm synchronisation or sleep syncing refers to the process of aligning one's sleep-wake cycle with the body's internal clock, which regulates various physiological and behavioural processes over a roughly 24-hour cycle.


Aligning your body's internal clock with external cues includes maintaining consistency in sleep patterns, exposure to light, meal timings, and other activities to optimise the body's natural rhythm. Syncing your body's internal clock with external cues like daylight and darkness ensures better sleep, alertness when awake, and overall well-being.


So, while circadian rhythm is the body's internal clock, synchronisation involves adjusting your activities and lifestyle to support and match this natural rhythm.


Related story: How To Calm Mind And Get A Good Night's Sleep


How to Get Into Sleep Syncing

Syncing your sleep to your body's natural rhythm involves knowing your ideal sleep-wake cycle and establishing a bedtime routine around that time.

Figure out your Chronotype

Identify your chronotype by tracking when you naturally wake up without the use of an alarm and feel drowsy for a few weeks. Once you are awake, make sure to expose yourself to daylight. This helps regulate melatonin production, aiding in setting your body's internal clock. Pay attention to energy fluctuations throughout the day and note when you feel ready for bed.


Establish a Bedtime Routine

Once you figure out your ideal bedtime routine, start adhering to it. Create a consistent bedtime routine 30 to 60 minutes before sleep. This routine might include activities like disconnecting from electronics, dimming lights, a warm shower, reading, meditation, or listening to relaxing sounds such as white and pink noise.


Consistency is Key

Consistency is crucial, so aim to sleep at the same time each night to reinforce your sleep-wake cycle. However, sleep syncing isn’t easy for everyone. Those with non-traditional work schedules or dealing with conditions like Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) may find it challenging. Flexibility and planning are required to overcome these challenges, especially for night-shift workers or frequent travellers combating jet lag. Despite these hurdles, these steps can still help align your sleep with your body's natural rhythm for better overall rest.


Related Story: How To Calm The Mind And Get A Good Night’s Sleep


Benefits of Sleep Syncing

According to a 2021 study by Northwestern University, deep sleep has restorative power to clear waste from the brain. This waste potentially includes toxic proteins that may lead to neurodegenerative disease.


A good night’s sleep helps regulate hormone production, particularly melatonin. Melatonin plays a pivotal role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle and makes falling asleep easier. This alignment fosters more restorative and quality sleep, allowing the body to repair and regenerate tissues. This eventually leads to a strengthened immune system and improved cognitive functions. Moreover, consistent sleep syncing supports mental health by enhancing mood regulation, reducing stress and lowering the risk of anxiety and depression.


When you sync your sleep regularly, it not only boosts your productivity but also aids in keeping you more alert when you're awake. Restorative sleep improves concentration, memory, retention and problem-solving skills to a great extent. Supporting muscle recovery and coordination, sleep syncing optimises physical performance. Overall, making sure your sleep follows a routine that matches your body's rhythm is super important for your mind and body—it helps you live a more balanced and fulfilling life.


Tips For Restorative Sleep

Set the right temperature

Studies have shown that your body sleeps better when the environmental temperature is dropped by 1 degree Celsius. This is because your body and brain need to drop their core temperature by 1 degree Celsius in order to initiate sleep and stay asleep. You may have noticed that it is generally easier to fall asleep in a cooler environment.


Walk it out

If you're having difficulty falling asleep or can't fall back asleep after 25 minutes, it's recommended that you get out of bed and engage in a different activity. The reason? Your brain is an incredibly associative device. The brain has learned the association that the bed is this trigger of wakefulness and we have to break that association. By getting out of bed, you can go and do something else. Return to bed only when you feel sleepy again.


Monitor alcohol and caffeine

Stay away from caffeine after noon as it can disrupt sleeping patterns. Alcohol can similarly affect the quality of sleep, and the best thing to do would be to drink mindfully or avoid it altogether.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


Maintaining a synchronised sleep routine isn't just about immediate gains, rather it's an investment in long-term health. It lowers the risk of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and cognitive decline. Additionally, sleep syncing isn't just a trend but an important aspect of self-care. By respecting our body's circadian rhythms we can lead a more fulfilling life.




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