Have you ever noticed that you get sleepy at certain times of the day, while at other times you get what many people call a “second wind?” Most people experience different levels of alertness and tiredness, or lack of energy throughout the day. This is due to your biological body clock. Our internal clocks tell us when we should be sleepy and when we should be awake. Today, your Livonia, MI dentist, Dr. James Stewart, discusses your internal circadian rhythm.
The Circadian Rhythm
The human body runs on a system called the sleep/wake homeostasis. When you notice yourself becoming tired it is this system at work. It’s telling you that your body needs rest. It also helps you to sleep the right amount of hours to make up for the energy you spent while awake. The sleep/wake homeostasis system balances your days between sleep and wakefulness. This system does not exist alone, however. If it did you would feel most awake when you awake from your night’s sleep, and each hour as the day progresses you would begin to feel more tired. In other words, you would never experience a “second wind.”
Your internal biological clock is regulated by the circadian rhythm which modulates your periods of tiredness and wakefulness throughout the day. Your circadian rhythm rises and falls at different times of the day. Variations occur depending on whether you are a morning person or a night owl. However, the average adult’s strongest need for sleep (sleep drive) occurs at 2:00 am to 4:00 am and again between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. If you experienced sufficient sleep the night before, your circadian dips or the times you experience sleepiness will not be as intense as if you are sleep deprived. The circadian rhythm also causes your “second wind” by making you feel alert at certain other points of the day. You may consider this odd due to the fact that your “second wind” can take place late in the evening, even if you have been awake for hours and would naturally expect to feel more sleepy.
About Dr. Stewart
James R. Stewart, Jr, DDS, PC and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. If you think you or a loved one is dealing with a sleep disorder, call our office today at (734) 425-4400, to schedule an appointment. At Dental sleep Medicine of Michigan, we are committed to forming trusting relationships with our patients so we can work together to achieve sound treatment and a future full of restful nights.