Circadian rhythms govern our behaviour, hormone levels, sleep-wake cycles, temperature, digestion, blood pressure, and metabolism. They have developed as an adaptive reaction to natural environmental cycles. Let’s find out more about mechanisms that govern almost all body systems.
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Life is synchronized to the rotation of the Earth. It stands to reason that our body experiences different phases during the day. Those changes are called circadian rhythms. Most living beings, including animals, plants and microbes, undergo such a phenomenon. We need to have regular activity and rest schedules to control our mood and workability. Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young won the 108th Noble Prize in physiology or medicine due to their exploration of body clocks and biological rhythms that regulate vital functions of a human organism.
Don’t Mess with the Sleep-Wake Cycle
Sleep plays a vital role in our life as it helps us gain energy, regenerate cells, analyze and systematize information accumulated during the day, and improve cognitive abilities. Unfortunately in today’s fast-moving world having a balanced daily routine is next to impossible for most people. The reasons differ, some of us have to work or study at night, others, say, need to look after a newborn. There are also a lot of cases of insomnia because of the Internet addiction. People can create self-selected light-dark cycles with the help of artificial light that destroys a natural circadian rhythm. Forced all-nighters lead to sleep deprivation during work days and, as a result, people suffer from chronic tiredness.
Staying up all night can be extremely harmful for your health and mood, if sleep deprivation becomes constant. You may face such unpleasant consequences as high blood pressure, hormonal disorders and increased blood sugar levels. If you happen to have regular all-nighters, be very careful as unsynchronized body clocks can lead to many health problems.
Create a Schedule
Our inner clock is connected with the natural light-dark cycle. It can either accelerate or suspend the processes in our body. That is why it is necessary to harmonize the inner clock with the activities we have to deal with during the day. For instance, our eating schedule can affect our metabolism and help us control weight, as the research showed. Late meal sends signals to the organs at the wrong time of day breaking the balance. As a result, later eaters are usually less successful at losing weight.
Time management plays crucial role in keeping your body fit and healthy. Our organism is set up to carry our particular activities at particular hour. As you must have noticed, you experience diverse degrees of sleepiness and diligence throughout the day. It is possible to figure out your own activity pattern and to follow it daily. Such an approach can help you to become more energetic, productive, and active. There should be certain hours to spend working, studying, eating, sleeping, and relaxing.
Thanks to the joint winners of the 2017 Nobel Prize, the science of circadian rhythm will be linked to the traditional medicine practice. Fred Turek, a scientist at Northwestern University says that the study of biorhythms can be compared to Einstein’s investigations and achievements: “He brought time to physics. We’re bringing time to biology.”