When there’s a disturbance or change in your natural sleep cycle – be it due to late nights at work, an all-nighter before an exam, or the most common culprit: jetlag – it’s not always easy to get your schedule back on track. And even when you do manage to get back into a routine, it’s usually after several nights of struggling. However, there may be a few quick fixes to get your sleep cycle back on track faster than usual. One of the most effective tricks when it comes to resetting your internal clock quickly is by focusing on your “food clock.”


Your circadian rhythm – basically your biological clock – can largely be regulated by external factors like light, but is essentially a built-in process which exists naturally in your body to maintain its pattern of function over a 24-hour cycle. According to a study by Harvard Medical School, however, you also have a second clock which may actually have the potential to override your primary internal clock. This second clock is regulated by food, and more specifically, the time at which you have your last meal for the day.




The study suggests that by determining when you want to wake up and then stopping all eating 12-16 hours before that time, you will actually be able reset your internal clock in just a single night because you initiate your body’s starvation cycle, which essentially mimics what your body goes through when you are sleeping at night. As a result, when you do start to eat again, or when you “break your fast” after the 12 to 16 hour period that you go without eating, your body will interpret this as the start of a new day, and it will use this meal to jump start your system and recharge itself for the day.


There are a number of other tricks you can use to manage your sleep cycle or help get your sleep pattern back on track, and using any of these tricks can be effective. However, having a hack to override your primary internal clock in as little as a day is one of the most efficient and useful tricks you can have, and it’s sure to come in handy next time irregularities in your lifestyle throw off your system.


What are some of the tricks you like to use when it comes to overcoming changes in your sleep pattern caused by things like all-nighters or jetlag? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @tamarahoumi