What’s a circadian rhythm, anyway?

Circadian rhythms make up the internal 24-hour clock within your brain that communicates to other regions of your brain and every organ in your body. This biological clock controls not only sleep, but also emotions, appetite, hormones, metabolism and body temperature.

Circadian rhythms generally follow cues of daylight and darkness to initiate processes. For example, daylight will indicate that the brain needs greater alertness and will stimulate appetite, while darkness will induce drowsiness and signal changes to appetite and body temperature in preparation of sleep.

An altered schedule from traveling to a different time zone can temporarily upset your circadian rhythms and cause jet lag. A long-term disruption of this cycle, such as working the night shift, can result in a sleep disorder characterized by insomnia and daytime sleepiness.

(By the way, you can limit jet lag by following the sun. When you reach your destination, switch your bedtime to local time as soon as you can—which may feel like “staying up very late” or “going to bed very early” depending on your origin—and take a walk in the sun in the morning to encourage your rhythms to reset.)

Just as CBD encourages relaxation for many people, CBN may be an option for deeper relaxation when your body runs into obstacles related to the clock.