Your Body is a Clock

Your Body is a Clock

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.

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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.

Being a morning (or evening) person is inborn, genetic, and very hard to change.

Tick Tock
  • Every single cell of the body has clock genes, bits of DNA that flip on and off throughout the day.
  • Like the body as a whole, the cell's metabolism is scheduled for efficiency. Clock genes regulate the expression of between 5 and 20 percent of all the other genes in the cell.
When our personal clock is out of sync with the one of our society, our health suffers. 
Less Sleep is dangerous

It has been associated with higher blood pressure, body mass index, and increased calcification of the coronary artery.

  • In lab experiments, people who slept only five hours a night for one week became less sensitive to insulin, which makes it harder to maintain blood sugar levels.
  • In an overnight sleep study of 1,024 individuals, poor sleep was associated with the misregulation of the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin.

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Jet lag

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.

Our biological clocks are synchronized to a 24-hour period. Our internal clocks drive our circadian rhythms, which anticipate dawn and dusk, and control everything from blood pressure to how hungry we are. When we fly to a different time zone, (or work night shifts), our internal clocks go out of sync.

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The Circadian Rhythm
  • The circadian rhythm is what we call our body's masterclock. It is the timekeeper of the body which keeps the cells in our body running smoothly, helps fights against chronic diseases and assists us into having a peaceful night of sleep.
  • Our circadian rhythm is dependent on our daily routines and diet that keeps us mindful of our health.
  • Our masterclock can be found in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in the hypothalamus. It is what controls the functioning of each bodily process.
Waking Up Late Means Moving Less

Rising early in the day makes an overall difference in the number of steps one walks during the entire day, with the late risers moving around less.

  • Each of us has a master internal body clock in our brains, along with many smaller cellular clocks that track and absorb outside information.
  • The master clock then makes the necessary body changes, like releasing hormones and chemicals that affect our alertness, hunger and sleep.

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