What is the circadian rhythm and how does it affect our lives?

What is the circadian rhythm and how does it affect our lives?
What is the circadian rhythm and how does it affect our lives?

A huge number of biological processes take place in our body that affect our he alth. All of them should flow synchronously, rhythmically and complement each other. It's like in an orchestra, where each instrument comes into play at a specific time and sounds only in the register for which it is intended, resulting in a harmonious symphony. In this way, the circadian rhythm connects the hormonal receptors needed at a given moment, which govern our metabolism, sleep and immune system.

What is circadian rhythm?

The word circadian is composed of two Latin concepts: circa - circle and dies - day. That is, these are rhythmic changes that occur in the human body within 24 hours and are associated with the change of day and night. During this time, chemical, mental and physical changes take place with a certain alternation.Special molecules work like clockwork and make all living organisms function properly, maintain and repair themselves. In 2017, Michael Young, Jaffrey Hall and Michael Rosbash were awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering the molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.

Why should you know about circadian rhythms?

If you properly adjust to the 24-hour rhythm, you can:

• regulate the impact of infections;

• manage metabolism;

• rationalize your sleep;

• improve your mental state.

For example, you are less likely to get an infection in the morning than in the evening. The body reacts differently to a particular disease depending on the time of day. By knowing how the circadian rhythm works, you can determine when a drug will work best and thus adjust the dose of a potentially harmful drug without losing its effectiveness.

Circadian rhythm of hormones

The body produces certain hormones depending on the time of day. In the absence of light, melatonin, the sleep hormone, is released. Even the light from a lamp, TV, telephone and night lamp affects its production. That is why in big cities it is necessary to have thick curtains to protect the bedroom from the light of the street lamps.

Thyroid hormones are released when metabolism slows down and body temperature is lowest. This is around 3-4 in the morning. At this time, the normal functioning of the body is regulated and the growth process of the bone apparatus takes place.

The hormone cortisol rises at 6 am. It is responsible for the functioning of muscle fibers, for example, the smooth muscle of the heart myocardium. Suppresses infection and inflammation, but at the same time reduces the effect of histamine in an allergic reaction.

At night, the hormone ghrelin increases, which makes you feel hungry and stimulates the production of growth hormone.For those who don't eat before bed, the "hunger hormone" rises rapidly at midnight and peaks around 2:30 a.m. It remains high into the morning, stimulating the desire to eat something after getting up. At the same time, melatonin significantly reduces the production of ghrelin.

The natural mechanism for removing fat is set by nature itself, you just need to set it up correctly. Calorie expenditure and steady body weight are primarily regulated by a hormone called leptin. It increases during the day and peaks at midnight. Disturbances in the work of this hormone is the main cause of obesity.

There are dozens of other hormones that the human body synthesizes in a certain circadian rhythm.

What rules must be followed?

To keep your he alth in good condition, you should know that the circadian rhythm is influenced by various signals, which are called in the German word zeitgebers (“time giver” or “synchronizer”).These are the external factors that prompt our body to synchronize the biological clock and the proper functioning of the whole body. Major zeitgebers include:

• light and dark time of day

• eating or fasting

• air temperature

• atmospheric pressure

• physical activity

• social interaction with society

• medication intake.

To keep your circadian rhythm correct, follow these rules

1. Do not allow light in the bedroom at night. Even the glowing numbers of an electronic clock can slow down melatonin production.

2. In the morning, enjoy the sun's rays, they correct the circadian rhythms. During the day, it is necessary to "absorb" as much natural light as possible. Owl people are considered more emotional precisely because of the outward manifestation of circadian rhythm disturbances.

3. Go to bed and wake up at the same time. This is necessary to program and synchronize all processes in the body.

4. Do not eat 3-4 hours before going to bed. With this regimen, hormone production is adjusted, depending on food intake. The body itself will begin to regulate the weight.

5. Most calories, about 85% of the daily value, should be taken in the morning and afternoon, leaving only 15% for the evening. If you wake up in the middle of the night hungry, your rhythm is out of order.

6. Do not exercise a few hours before going to bed. The best time for sports is before 5pm.

7. Reduce the level of psychological stress that suppresses and disrupts your circadian rhythm. It can be an outburst of anger, jealousy, shame, hatred, anxious thoughts or inflated work plans.

8. Sleep in a cool room to lower your body temperature at night.

9. Go to bed as early as possible, the ideal sleep schedule is from 22:00 to 06:00.If you are on a late regimen that is harmful to your he alth, you can correct your circadian rhythm in three months. To do this, you need to go to bed every day no later than 10 p.m. New neural connections will form in your brain and you will get used to falling asleep on time.

Circadian rhythm of diseases

All of the above helps to understand why some diseases are activated at certain times of the day. For example, heart attacks happen most often in the morning, and an asthma attack - usually between 11 pm and 3 am. Joint swelling occurs after a night's sleep due to the fact that the immune system is activated in the morning. Blood pressure and heart rate increase in the early hours due to the rise in the hormone cortisol in the morning. Unfortunately, heart attacks and strokes peak before 9 a.m. due to blood pressure rising during that time. People with arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis experience joint stiffness in the early hours.

According to the laws that nature has established, our immune system works throughout the day - day and night. We just have to listen to our body and help it work as rhythmically and harmoniously as possible.

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