What is chronotherapy?
Chronotherapy comes from the Greek word chronos (χρόνος), which means “time” and it is a therapy based on the usage of our natural circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is driven by our circadian clock which “tells” us when we need to sleep, wake up and eat and it is regulated by our brain’s sleep network.
How does chronotherapy work?
Our sleep network includes the hypothalamus, which is involved in the release of hormones and the regulation of our temperature, appetite, and sleep, providing us with internal signals that help us wake up or fall asleep. On many occasions the functioning of the circadian clock is disturbed, resulting in sleeping problems, such as insomnia and delayed sleep phase disorder. Chronotherapy aims to help people suffering from such imbalances to regulate their sleep and create a healthy and efficient sleeping schedule using sleep diaries, bedtime restriction and other approaches according to the needs of the individual circadian clock and the type of the sleeping problem.