Circadian Rhythm: Body’s Internal Clock
WHAT IS CIRCADIAN RHYTHM?
Have you ever wondered why we feel so active during the day and as the night time nears, we start to feel more and more sluggish? What inner works of our body is causing such a cycle which stays constant our whole life?
Circadian rhythms which act as an internal clock for our body plays this role. These are 24-hour cycles which regulate and monitor our bodily processes in the background, adjusting our body according to the environmental signals.
For example, when we get exposure to light, our body automatically feels alert and we wake up whereas our body slowly drifts into sleep because we feel lethargic as soon as it starts to get dark. Coordination of mental and physical systems depends on the circadian rhythm. Hypothalamus in the brain mainly control the circadian oscillators situated throughout the body. A stable circadian cycle is necessary to ensure proper performance of our bodily processes.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DISRUPT IT?
Disruption in the circadian rhythm can make human body vulnerable to multiple physical and mental adversities. As the circadian cycle is mainly responsible for the sleep-wake cycle, processes such as release of hormones are also disrupted impacting the digestive functioning, immunity, metabolism, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Irregular release of hormones also affects the mental state of individuals, exposing them to an array of mental health issues and increasing the risk of psychiatric illnesses such as depression.
Sleep is one such activity which is influenced by Circadian Rhythm. Therefore, maintaining a stable and healthy sleep cycle is absolutely essential. People who struggle with falling asleep or having a healthy amount of sleep due to reasons such as- Constant travel across time zones, tied by work obligations and stress, excessive screen time or extremely exciting activities before sleep, irregular patters of sleep (regular naps during the day) and many more. The reasons may hamper the rhythm in a serious way causing troubles in the overall working of the body.
HOW IT HELPS IN WEIGHT LOSS?
Circadian rhythm plays a central role in the digestive functions of our body. With respect to the 24-hour clock, consuming food withing the 12 hours of a day within a fixed pattern is an essential practice. Following the internal clock ensures an optimum level of hunger, strikes out the possibility of having any hunger urges one might have and maintains an overall stable pattern. Such pattern leads to a healthy metabolism level, increased immunity and satisfactory energy levels you require to seize the day.
Disruptions in the Circadian rhythm have unfavorable effects on the digestion processes of an individual. Due to this disruption there is a high risk of having hormonal imbalances and eventually irregular eating habits and decreased physical activity of the individual. Factors such as increased calorie intake, junk cravings and absence of an eating pattern leads to an immediate weight gain, insulin resistance and imbalanced cholesterol levels over a period of time can cause unfortunate chronic diseases.
To conclude, maintaining a stable circadian rhythm and ensuring that you adhere to the internal clock is essential for a healthy life. Circadian rhythm has a direct relation with the digestive processes and a steady relation with the sleep cycle that eventually leads to the road of Healthy Body and a Happy Life.