Don’t Mess With My Circadian Rhythms

There are few things that make me panic like thinking that I woke up late.

I am on a pretty regulated sleep/wake cycle — as close to it as possible anyway — in an effort to keep migraines at bay. I rarely need my alarm to wake me at 4:30 in the morning – I just wake up. (I will admit though that I often delay actually getting out of bed, especially when it’s cold outside.)

The past weeks with the two hour delays and missed days of school and even a day when I had to be off in the morning for an appointment have made mornings less predictable lately. That and heading to bed late after rehearsals or performances this week has my concept of time all kinds of messed up for me.

Still there is nothing more distressing than actually waking to my alarm clock and feeling like the world is out of whack.

Our bodies do notice when the clocks don’t match up with what we intuitively know to be true. Alarms going off an hour early mess with our sleep habits and our circadian rhythms and can throw some of us off for weeks.

My son’s theory that he’ll just go to bed early another night this week to make up for the lost hour is a great plan – in theory anyway. I’ve tried that. I took a nap this afternoon, but it doesn’t help. We’re wired to be in tune with the sun rising and setting and when that doesn’t match up with the clock, it creates a feeling of being out of sync with the world — ironically when we’re doing it to be IN sync with the rest of the world.

I’m definitely not the only one who suffers from this; my Facebook feed is full of memes and similar comments about losing an hour of sleep.

I rebelled a bit today – I refused to wear a watch or look at the time; I took a nap (which I rarely do unless I’m sick); I ate when I was hungry and will go to bed when I’m tired.

Unfortunately, I have to join the masses by following this ridiculous practice tomorrow.

 

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