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How Optimizing Circadian Rhythm Can Improve Sleep for Men over 40

by briangryn | June 7, 2023 | Eat Clean Get Lean

After 40, it is quite common for men to experience trouble sleeping. I discussed this topic with Dr. Don Vega on my podcast. Sometimes, it's just a gradual decrease in sleep quality over the years while in some cases, men may develop certain sleep disorders like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. Insomnia is another common cause of troubled sleep but this can be dealt with by optimizing the circadian rhythm of the body. In this blog, we will discuss the relationship between circadian rhythm and sleep quality in men over 40 and some helpful tips for optimizing circadian rhythm.

What is Circadian Rhythm?

Your circadian rhythm is basically your internal clock that dictates your sleep-wake cycle. It is affected by a number of environmental factors such as your exposure to daylight, meal times, physical activity, and social interaction. Essentially, your circadian rhythm should sync with the daylight cycle and your sleep-wake cycle should align with it as well. Our body's circadian rhythm is what makes us feel active and alert during the day and sleepy at night. As you age, your circadian rhythm may not work as effectively, causing you to experience sleeping difficulties.

How Circadian Rhythm Affects Sleep Quality?

As you age, your circadian rhythm may change, and you may experience more sleep problems. For example, you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. This is because the natural levels and timing of melatonin production, a hormone that regulates sleep, alters. Additionally, older adults may produce less melatonin. This can affect your ability to sleep well at night, which in turn can reduce concentration and productivity during the day.

Factors That Impact Your Circadian Rhythm!

Many people do not realize that their circadian rhythm is closely tied to their digestive system. Eating too close to bedtime can upset the digestive system and disrupt the circadian rhythm, causing you to feel restless and unable to sleep. So, make an effort to finish dinner 2-3 hours before you go to bed.

Regular exposure to daylight is crucial for regulating your circadian rhythm. Research shows that people who spend more time outdoors tend to have higher-quality sleep. Therefore, it's recommended to get at least 30 minutes of natural light exposure every day. I like to occasionally do outdoor workouts with my X3 Bar! Use discount code "Save50" for $50 off your purchase!

As I am sure you are not surprised, electronic devices often disrupt our sleep patterns. The blue light emitted by electronic screen devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets suppresses the release of melatonin, an important hormone that promotes sleep. Additionally, using your phone or laptop before bed can overstimulate your brain thus making it difficult to fall asleep. Therefore, try to avoid electronic screens for at least an hour before bed. I like to wear my blue light blocking glasses at least a couple of hours before bed to limit any blue light prior to sleep.

Finally, practicing a relaxing bedtime routine such as meditating, taking a warm bath, or reading a book can also help in regulating the circadian rhythm. Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning can help too. This helps train your body to recognize when it's time for sleep and can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

To Conclude:

By understanding the role of the circadian rhythm in quality sleep, men can take steps to optimize their sleep schedules. This includes fixing your meal time, exposing yourself to natural light, avoiding electronic devices before bed, and adopting a bedtime routine. Rather than reaching for sleep aids or caffeine, try to socially commit yourself to fixed bedtimes and to holding yourself accountable for a healthier and more active lifestyle. It's never too late to start prioritizing your sleep health!

Have a great day!


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