A trip to India was all it took for Victoria to realise that meditation is not a fancy word for sitting around in silence. It truly changed Victoria’s life to a less stressful and more mindful one. Now a freelance consultant and journalist, Victoria joined KOKO to share her knowledge on those little things that are life so much better, and cosier.+ info
Whether you function better during mornings or evenings is not random. There is a small part of your genes that are responsible for that!
A tiny portion of your DNA is in charge of determining whether you are a morning person or an evening person. However, there are also other factors that come into play: hormones, age, sunlight, for example.
The question is, though, can you rewire yourself to change that? Well, it depends on your chronotype.
What is chronotype?
Your chronotype is, basically, your sleeping and waking cycle. It's the natural tendency to be more productive during the morning or at night. You have probably heard the expressions "early bird" or "night owl", right? Well, that is exactly what your chronotype is.
And even if your preference is largely a matter of genetics, but it is possible to change your sleeping and waking cycles — even if the changes don’t last a lifetime.
How can you intentionally change your chronotype?
This is what you can do to align your sleep schedule to your daily schedule, according to doctors.
Change your bedtime, gradually
Experts recommend that you start by going to sleep anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours earlier each night. Over a period of weeks, move your nighttime routine earlier and earlier until your bedtime allows you to get the requisite amount of sleep before your alarm goes off and the day begins.
Use lighting to realign your body
Your body has an inner clock, highly sensitive to changes in light, that sets your circadian rhythms. In fact, your body is capable of releasing the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin in response to sunset-colored light!
Limit your exposure to devices that emit blue light (such as phones and tablets) close to bedtime, because those dawn-like lights will keep you awake, and opt for nightlights and bedside lamps with amber or red bulbs that mimic sleepy-time sunset colors.
Create a soothing nighttime routine
If you’re trying to override a lifelong habit of nighttime activity, it may help to create routines that send a bedtime signal to your brain. Meditation is a really powerful tool, gentle stretches, reading books, and other calming rituals can also be helpful.