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Circadian Rhythms Run The Body

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

Circadian Rhythm

Timing is everything, and Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young have a ?Nobel Prize to prove it (the 2017 Nobel Prize).

Circadian Rhythm 101:

Circadian rhythms operate on roughly a 24-hour cycle to regulate the behavior and physiology of humans and animals. Nearly every single cell has a biological clock.

A little science for my science peeps: Biological clocks create these circadian rhythms and control their timing, while the daily light-dark cycle regulates circadian changes. Nearly every cell in the body has a biological or internal clock made up of various genes and proteins. Among the genes comprising these clocks are circadian clock genes, which have master genes, CLOCK, and MBAL1, which regulate circadian gene expression.

What do rhythms do? Circadian rhythms regulate processes within the body such as blood pressure, temperature regulation, hormone secretion, glucose control, digestion, metabolism, and energy expenditure. These rhythms respond to various cues including, light and dark cycles, sleep and wake cycles, meal timing, and movement. Circadian rhythms are most well-known for sleep and wake regulation.

These rhythms are governed by internal circadian or biological clocks. These clocks control almost every cell in our body. In fact, 80% of the genes in our body and brain are circadian.

Your body likes routines and so does your circadian rhythm.

Think of this as eating and moving with the sun. By doing this, you naturally support balanced blood sugar, digestion and metabolism . Our cells and organs have these clocks, too. Immune cells o too, so when I work with clients with autoimmunity, this is a major focus.

When the sun sets, digestion actions are typically turned down, and repair efforts are turned on. Chronically eating late at night can result in slower digestion, inappropriate acid production, and insulin resistance. This results in blood sugar issues, G.I. symptoms, and fat gain, etc. You wake up feeling tired, sluggish and even bloated, and this can lead you to skip breakfast, running on caffeine and cortisol, only to crash and overeat at night.

Research has suggested that women, not men, who skip breakfast have elevated cortisol and blood pressure. This can jack cortisol up too high messing with your rhythm. Your first meal sets the tone for the day. Research has also found eating more during the daylight hours improves fat loss as well as fasting glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance.

Unfortunately, many of us are disrupting our clocks daily, resulting in internal chaos.

For example, if you're dealing with gut issues and doing everything right with no relief, you could be working against your digestive rhythms. Yup, your colon, and microbes have a clock. I have worked with 1,000 men and women, and the majority are working against their body's rhythms.

Circadian rhythms can influence:

  • Sleep-wake cycle

  • Hormone cycle

  • Body temperature

  • Eating and digestion

  • Metabolism

  • Reproductive health

  • Aging

Circadian disruption is associated with:

  • high blood pressure

  • diabetes

  • depression

  • anxiety

  • heart attack

  • heart failure

  • stroke

  • impulsive behavior

  • poor memory

  • hormonal shifts

  • immune system deficiency

  • systemic inflammation

  • muscle loss (sarcopenia)

  • cancer

  • PMS & PCOS

  • weight gain and obesity

  • IBS

  • constipation and diarrhea

  • dysbiosis

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