Circadian Rhythm Decides Our Life’s Groove. Salsa Or Waltz, You Decide.
What is Circadian Rhythm?
A circadian rhythm is any biological process that displays an endogenous, entrainable oscillation of about 24 hours. These 24-hour rhythms are driven by a circadian clock, and they have been widely observed in plants, animals, fungi, and cyanobacteria.
Yeah Yeah. What does this mean to me? Why do I care?
In simpler language, Circadian Rhythm is our body clock and it sets the tone for our activities. Secreting more enzymes for digestion during breakfast, signalling body to sleep when it’s tired and making sure that you are ready physically and physiologically for environmental changes.
Why is it so important? Maintaining a regular circadian rhythm might seem easy, but it is not. Simple things like late night TV, too much consumption of soda and drinking coffee just to complete a project can mess up your circadian rhythm easily.
Lets find out more about how Circadian Rhythm is disturbed by our seeming harmless daily vices.
Drinking Energy Drinks:
To deal with work pressure, people often drink energy drinks, coffee and other sports drink. The problem with energy drinks is their caffeine and Taurine content. Although it may stimulate the mind and help you stay awake and focused, it is a very bad habit to integrate. Caffeine and taurine raise the blood pressure to abnormal levels and this can be fatal, especially when they are consumed during night-time. Sports drink often contain too much of salt, which raises blood pressure, too. Especially people working with computers who have to work long hours and find it very difficult to stay awake, succumb to these drinks.
Once in a while is okay, but do not do it on a regular basis. Sleep is very important to our brain and we can’t stress enough on it.
An ideal solution to this problem is power naps. Take a 15 minute power nap right where you sit. Also, try chewing gum, but only for 20 to 30 minutes. Do light stretching or few push ups. Also, talking about exciting topics for a while, like about sports or politics, will definitely help.
But remember, late nights will hurt you in the long run. In your youth you might get away with it, but in old age, it will show its effects. Strategic planning is the key.
Cheat tip: Drink a lot of water if you are working late in the night.
Too Much Electronic Light.
Did you know that our circadian rhythm can get altered due to bad lifestyle choices? Staying up late to catch that last episode, late night movies, playing games or chatting before going to bed will ruin your life for good. Due to exposure to electronic screens, our body’s melatonin levels drop and messes our body clock. Once our body clock gets messed up, every thing starts to fall apart.
Hunger dies and you feel hungry at very odd times. Bowel movements get messed up, making you very uncomfortable in important meeting or places. Skin starts to react and starts developing zits, acne or boils. Even hair loss is related to poor sleep patterns.
The best practice is to reduce using devices with electronic screens after sunset. You should stop working on electronic screens completely one hour before sunset. Did you know that it takes about one week to reset your body clock to its natural position and regain optimum melatonin levels?
To reset your body clock, you can experience sunlight during sunrise and sunset; this has helped many people optimize their body clock. Regular exercise will also help in managing sleep cycle .
There are severe consequences of messing up your circadian rhythm. Wide awake during night and sleeping in office, if this sounds familiar, you have a serious problem, mate. Non 24 Hour Sleep Wake Disorder and Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) are some of the sleep related problems due to irregular circadian rhythm.
Moderate exercise and a decent diet along with reduction of exposure to electronic lights is more than enough to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm and a pulsating lifestyle.