How many of you get a second wind at night? Night owl?
At times this can be useful when you are trying to finish up a project or cram more into your day.
On the other hand it can be damn annoying. The night get’s darker and you are feeling tired, when all of a sudden you get jolted awake and can’t fall asleep. Frustration mounts.
So what is going on here? There are a few possibilities.
You have a wolf/owl chronotype. About 15-20% of the population falls into this category. What this means is that your melatonin levels release about 2 hours later than the rest of the population. You do some of your best work at this time.
You are high stress or anxious. Quick bio lesson. You have 2 sides of your nervous system. One side is the fight or flight and the other is rest and digest. In order to sleep the body needs to be in the rest and digest mode.
When you are stressed or anxious it raises your vigilance/alertness level.
The energy boost you experience is the effects of cortisol and noradrenaline that is released. The downside is it takes a while for these chemicals to break down in the body before you can get into a restful sleep.
Missing the Melatonin Window
Last, and the most common for lion and bear chronotypes.
When the body releases melatonin it also is prepping the body for metabolic changes that go on during the night to repair, clean, and recover the body.
Sleep is actually very active and requires quite a bit of energy. I mean think about it, your brain is flushed and cleaned like a toilet bowl, muscles are built and repaired, funky cells are destroyed, and the immune system is bolstered and deployed.
This energy surge is the second wind you are experiencing. Think of it like warming up your car in the winter before you get in. This isn’t good though. It means you are missing your window for going to bed.
According to your circadian rhythm, ( you know that internal clock that controls basically everything inside you), you should be in bed asleep not watching some show or involved in some social media argument.
On occasion this is fine, but if multiple times a week you are running off a second wind, it’s coming at a cost. You can only redline an engine so long before it seizes up.
What will that seize up look like for you?
Weight gain, poor emotional control, cognitive decline,heart disease, diabetes, cancer? Poor sleep and sleep quality is linked to all of those.
Take this information and aim to be in bed when that melatonin releases so you can avoid those second winds at night.
If you are interested in learning how to improve your sleep, overcome insomnia and sleep deprivation enroll in my How to live the best 1/3rd of your life program.