Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

Your Body is a Clock

April 24, 2016
Plain English Version

It is not only your wristwatch that keeps time; your body is a clock as well. The body clock is called circadian rhythm. These rhythms cycle through your body and your brain about every 24 hours.

The rhythms drive every system in your body. From circulation and cognition to metabolism, memory and mood.

Circadian rhythms play a big role in your health.

Genes in the system make our bodies relate to light and dark. Which means the time of day.

Heart attacks often happen in the morning. Epileptic seizures peak in the late afternoon. Asthma attacks get worse and more deadly between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.

The melatonin hormone helps people sleep. Other chemicals in your body lower temperature and raise your blood pressure and heart rate at night.

Body Clock 2In the morning, light causes the melatonin to shut off. Cortisol is a stress hormone. It prepares the body for the day’s demands. Blood pressure and heart rate increase.

A person’s behavior affects the way the body behaves. But blood pressure, heart rate, blood clotting and adrenaline, rise and fall in circadian rhythms of their own.

Changing in circadian rhythm can take place. Different sleeping patterns over the weekend, for example. The bigger the difference between sleep time on weekdays and weekends, the more likely people are to be obese.

Scientists also know there is a better time to take medicine.

Taking pills at night that help prevent heart blockages may lower the risk of early morning heart attacks. Taking acid-blocking drugs at night might be more effective, given the overnight surge of stomach acid.

The field of study is called chronotherapy. It is about light and dark. It is learning how circadian rhythms affect your health.

Body clock

 

Source: The Wall Street Journal June 2, 2015

Print Friendly

In Brief

Most Cancer is Due to “Bad Luck”

When someone who does not smoke, says that he or she has cancer, it is often a surprise. There does not seem to be...

Selling Kids on Vegetables

How to get kids to eat vegetables? Marketing is the answer. You can call it tricks or just good ideas. Whatever works.

School lunchrooms are...

What Do You Call Yourself if Your Mother is White and Your Father is Black?

On the 2010 Census, President Barack Obama, identified himself as  “black.” But millions of Americans consider themselves “bi- or multi-racial.”  And their numbers are...

Mending Walls, By Robert Frost

Robert Frost (1874 – 1963) was a great American poet. Just before he died, he read his poetry at the inauguration of President John...

Archives

Dictionary
  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by dictionarist.com
Click to listen highlighted text!