How to get your circadian rhythm back on track

How to get your circadian rhythm back on track | Soho House

With the clocks changing in the UK this weekend, we asked the experts for all their tips on resetting your sleep – including the Soho House bedrooms to book into

Thursday 23 March 2023 By Chloe Lawrance

Despite arriving twice a year like – well, like clockwork – the clocks changing still manages to knock many of us for six. Whether they’re springing forwards an hour – which is happening this weekend in the UK – or falling back come autumn, daylight savings can leave us feeling tired, grumpy and struggling to catch up on sleep.

But we’re all about banking sufficient snooze, so that you can work, play and relax how you want. Whether you’re mingling in the big smokes of New York and London, or tapping into the creative hubs across Europe, there’s one thing you can always count on: our bedrooms will deliver the optimum environment to ensure a restorative night’s sleep. You can thank an A-Z of signature amenities for that.

Of course, there are other ways to reset your circadian rhythm and get your sleep routine back on track. So, we turned to the experts within our Soho House community for tips on creating a more restful and reliable regime.

What is your circadian rhythm?
‘Your circadian rhythm is the natural cycle of physical, mental and behavioural changes that the body goes through in a 24-hour cycle, which includes the sleep-wake cycle, hormone production and metabolism,’ says Laura Pradelska, Soho House member and founder of the Stil app. ‘This rhythm is primarily controlled by the hypothalamus – a region of the brain that responds to light and dark signals from the environment. That’s why we tend to sleep when it’s dark and wake up once it’s light.’

‘When the clocks change, it alters the natural light-dark cycle, which can disrupt the body’s internal clock,’ she adds. ‘When we set the clocks forward in the spring, we lose an hour of sleep and our bodies may take several days or (in my case) even weeks to adjust to the new schedule.’

Ease yourself into it
To counter the impact of losing an hour of sleep this weekend on your circadian rhythm, Pradelska recommends getting ahead and easing yourself into a new bedtime. 

‘Try to gradually adjust your sleep schedule leading up to the clock change’ she says. ‘This means going to bed and waking up a bit earlier each day until you have adjusted to the new time.’

Rosie Acosta, Soho House member and meditation and mindfulness teacher at Headspace, agrees: ‘Don’t try to change your routine overnight. Each day, go to bed and wake up just 10 or 20 minutes earlier.’

Work with nature
Your circadian rhythm is naturally attuned to the light-dark cycle, so it makes sense to work with that cycle in order to improve your sleep routine. 

‘Set your alarm to wake up right before sunrise, even if you go back to sleep,’ says Acosta. ‘Look outside to see the natural light of day break, and then decide if you still want to go back to bed. And do the same thing at night. Set your alarm for sunset, take a peek outside at the darkening sky and begin your wind-down routine.’ 

‘Expose yourself to natural light during the day as much as possible,’ Pradelska adds. ‘This helps to regulate your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness, which is essential for a healthy sleep-wake cycle.’

How to get your circadian rhythm back on track | Soho House

Practise good sleep hygiene
It sounds obvious, but creating relaxing bedtime rituals really is an essential part of getting your sleep routine back on track. Set aside the blue light of your devices, run a bath or spend some time reading a book. As Pradelska explains, these rituals signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. 

Look to Cowshed’s Sleep range to help make these rituals extra special. The nine-piece Sleep Ritual Hamper includes the calming Sleep Bath Salts to help relieve muscle tension, the Rejuvenate Night Cream to replenish skin, and the Sleep Candle and Sleep Calming Pillow Mist to help scent your space ready for slumber. Notes of melissa and lemon myrtle will help you drift off and wake up feeling rested. 

Get your bedroom set to the right temperature for sleep, too. ‘Body temperature regulation is one of the circadian rhythms in the body,’ says Dirtea founder and Soho House member Simon Salter. ‘Lowering your body temperature helps to trigger melatonin, and that encourages sleep. Aim for around 15°C to 19°C.’

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