12 points to understand how the biological clock affects your life.
Knowing how the sleep cycle works can bring benefits to your routine.
Did you know that the “biological clock” is not exclusive to humans?
Apparently all living things – including small fungi and bacteria – have a circadian cycle: a biological process that takes about 24 hours and sets the pace of our existence.
But do you know what that is and how it affects you?
1. The circadian rhythms have been around for a long time
It is believed that the first cells of the Earth were damaged by the ultraviolet radiation emitted by the Sun and they adapted to undergo a process of regeneration at night.
2. It’s not only you who have
It is believed that any form of life that absorbs energy from sunlight has some kind of circadian rhythm to make the most of light and darkness.
Experiments have shown that mimosa acacia leaves will continue to open and close in the dark, following their own circadian rhythms, rather than the sun.
3. They give meaning to life
Circadian rhythms allow organisms to anticipate certain events, such as night and day, winter and summer, and so prepare for them.
4. You have a master clock
It sits in the hypothalamus, located in the brain and, as a conductor, sends regulatory signals to the whole body at different times of the day.
5. And also have peripheral clocks
All body organs and tissues have extra clocks, which are synchronized by the master clock in your brain.
6. And there are clocks in every cell
Each cell in your body has the ability to generate 24-hour oscillations.
7. Annual cycle
In winter, as the nights get longer and sleep increases, the brain releases more melatonin – a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness.
Many animals, such as deer, react to this by preparing to mate or hibernate.
It is believed that humans produce more antibodies in the winter to fight disease.
8. The daylight keeps you ‘adjusted’
If you spend all the time in the dark, your biological clock is out of sync with the 24-hour clock.
There are sensors in your eyes that detect light and send signals to the part of the brain that keeps your body clocks in sync.
9. Is it time to master?
From the moment you wake up in the morning, sleep will pile up.
However, you usually do not fall asleep until your biological clock tells you it’s time to go to bed.
10. Jet lag
You feel jet lag – that feeling of deep tiredness, irritability, and malaise – when your body’s main clock is setting an hour and other parts of your body, such as liver, gut, and muscles, are at slightly different times.
The body takes about a day to adapt to every hour of time difference.
11. Social Jetlag
Those who work in night shifts or present a mismatch between their biological clock and their social life may suffer from the so-called “social jet lag”.
It is the difference between the time the body wants to wake up, and the time the alarm sounds.
Studies suggest a correlation between this condition and an increased risk of depression, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
12. Let tired teens sleep late
The marked increase of the hormones during puberty should delay the clock in up to two hours.
Asking a teenager to get up at 7am is the same as asking a 50-year-old man to wake up at 5am.
Later, we returned to the sleep and wake patterns we had before puberty.