Out-of-phase Circadian Rhythms

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In summary: I don't know, 7pm, and I'm wide awake by then.I have a thing on my computer in which i can set a schedule for the screen light to us less blue wavelengths at night.I use a blue light filter on my computer at night.
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DaveC426913

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Is it possible to induce through habit a Circadian Rhythm that's 24 hours long - but out-of-phase with the day-night cycle?
In other words are "Night Owls" a real thing? And, more to the point: can it be permanently "burned in" to one's metabolism?
It's silly even as I write it, but there's no harm in asking, right?

Disclaimer: yes I am seeing my GP specialists, and getting sleep tests done. My queries here are not a substitute for medical care or a request for medical advice. I'd just like to see if there's any further reading I can do on my own.

For a very long time now (decades), I have had a huge amount of difficulty staying awake before noon. Granted, I have a sedentary desk job, and there's no question it's related to under-stimulation. If I am stimulated, I can keep out of the sleepiness zone, but let that stimulation lag for even a short time, and my eyes cannot stay focused and my lids get heavy.

At the same time, I often have a lot of difficulty falling asleep. I go to bed between 11 and 11:30 but I can easily lie awake for two or three hours or more, unable to stop thinking. (Yes, I have techniques for dealing with that too.)

I don't think the two things are directly correlated. It is normal to fall asleep on my keyboard even after a good nights rest without any insomnia. (i.e. I don't think I'm tired in the morning simply because I didn't sleep well.)

I've always been a night owl. I am most creative at night, no question, and even more so when I try to go to sleep. I used to work as a security guard in my twenties and formed a habit of staying up doing my projects until 4 or 5AM in front of the TV.

TL;DR:

After switching from a Night Owl daily rhythm to an office hour daily rhythm, followed by decades of battling morning drowsiness and late night creativity, I can't help but wonder if it's possible to permanently stamp the Night Owl cycle onto one's metabolism.

Any precedent or medical literature on such a thing?
 
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I used to work next door to a big circadian lab in grad school. A lot of what follows is from what I learned from hanging out with them.
In fish labs, we would also manipulate and use the fish's circadian cycles to manipulate their breeding activity. There are a lot of circadan breeding interactions. Yearly cycle length changes signal seasonal changes which control breeding in some animals (and plants).

Yes, it is possible to have a circadian cycle out of phase with the local light cycle.
Its done all the time in lab experiments with animals.
There are bright lights (usually emphasizing shorter wavelengths) that are sold for waking people up in the morning. You might want to try one of these in the morning (I use coffee!).

If you want to reduce your late night staying awake, you can reduce light intensity and the shorter wavelengths which reduces the lights on signal to your circadian system. There is usually a lot of blue light in computer screens, etc. I have a thing on my computer in which i can set a schedule for the screen light to us less blue wavelengths at night.

Weird fact: Its also possible to use a flash of light at a particular time during the dark period to throw the an animal into a "chaotic" wake-sleep cycle. Not done with people, to my knowledge.

There are also mutant animals with different natural lengths of cycles. There are probably similar human mutants.
If you have a cycle greater than 24 hours, interacting with a natural light cycle (brght blue light on at wake-up and off at bedtime) can reset your mutant length cycle to better match up with the ongoing light cycle you experience. This happens through light sensors in the retina, pineal, and perhaps other areas that operate together to regulate the wake-sleep cycle.
I suspect night owls are people with longer than normal cycles, extending their wakefulness to later hours. (maybe I'm like that.)

DaveC426913 said:
I've always been a night owl. I am most creative at night, no question
Me too.
My son is also a night owl.
When he was a baby, he was very difficult to get to go to sleep before mid-night. Probably another mutant.
 
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DaveC426913 said:
Disclaimer: yes I am seeing my GP specialists, and getting sleep tests done. My queries here are not a substitute for medical care or a request for medical advice.
Well it's obvious to me that your attending night school to get your law degree has had an effect... :wink:
 
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BillTre said:
I suspect night owls are people with longer than normal cycles, extending their wakefulness to later hours. (maybe I'm like that.)
Yeah, I had hypothesized the same thing.

And the companion conjecture, of course, that morning people have shorter cycles. My wife starts fading around 9 or 10PM.
 

1. What are out-of-phase circadian rhythms?

Out-of-phase circadian rhythms refer to disruptions in the body's natural 24-hour biological cycle. This can occur when an individual's internal clock is not aligned with external cues, such as light and darkness. This can lead to disturbances in sleep patterns, hormone production, and other bodily functions.

2. What causes out-of-phase circadian rhythms?

Out-of-phase circadian rhythms can be caused by a variety of factors, including changes in work or school schedules, jet lag from traveling across time zones, and certain medical conditions. Additionally, exposure to artificial light at night and irregular sleep patterns can also disrupt the body's natural circadian rhythm.

3. How can out-of-phase circadian rhythms affect health?

Out-of-phase circadian rhythms can have negative effects on health, as the body's internal clock plays a crucial role in regulating important bodily functions such as metabolism, hormone production, and immune system function. Disruptions to these rhythms can lead to sleep disorders, mood disorders, and an increased risk of chronic diseases.

4. Can out-of-phase circadian rhythms be treated?

Yes, out-of-phase circadian rhythms can be treated through various methods. These may include adjusting daily routines and sleep schedules to align with the body's natural rhythm, using light therapy to regulate the production of melatonin, and taking medications to help regulate sleep patterns. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

5. How can individuals prevent out-of-phase circadian rhythms?

To prevent out-of-phase circadian rhythms, individuals can establish a regular sleep schedule, limit exposure to artificial light at night, and avoid irregular sleep patterns. It is also helpful to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, as these can also help regulate the body's internal clock.

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