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Around 30 to 50 percent of people sleep between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am. Another 40 percents are either slightly morning people or slightly evening people.
To understand why some people are early birds while others are night owls, we have to take into consideration the body's circadian system.
The body is an orchestra of organs, each providing an essential function. In this metaphor, the circadian rhythm is the conductor. The conductor makes every neurotransmitter, every hormone, and every chemical in the body cycle with the daily rhythm.
This makes us our sleep habits unique and tailored.
It has been associated with higher blood pressure, body mass index, and increased calcification of the coronary artery.
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Jet Lag is a debility similar to a hangover. Jet Lag derives from the simple fact that jets travel so fast they leave your body rhythms behind.
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Our bodies take a few days to fully adjust, depending on not only how many time zones have been crossed, but also the direction of travel.
Usually, it would take five or six days to adjust to a six-hour shift in time zone. When you travel east, your body has a shorter time to synchronize with the regular 24-hour sun cycle. When you travel west, your body has extra time to adjust.
Generally, the best way to fool your biological clock is to shift your internal rhythms before the flight.
Healthy circadian rhythms rely on regularity and stability— for the timing of light, the timing of exercise, and the timing of meals.
Our bodies are accustomed to the exposure of light and darkness on a regular basis. The circadian rhythm is reset on a daily basis and it is the one that determines the healthiness of our cellular health and sleeping patterns.
Irregular sleep schedules and broken sleep-wake times are not just an occasional traveling phenomenon, but a wider problem due to our social lives conflicting with our sleep patterns.
Our internal body clocks are better programmed to help us sleep and wake up, according to our unique body chemistry and energy levels.
Ignoring our internal clocks in favor of the alarm clock, and following our social obligations, sacrificing on sleep, is taking its toll on our health.
As our sleep patterns shift, leading to poor or no rest, there are a bunch of diseases that become more likely: