Body clock is the internal biological mechanism which causes our body to automatically behave in particular way, at a particular time of the day. Cells throughout our body are programmed to follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, causing body temperature, appetite, and energy levels to rise and fall at consistent times of the day. One of the most significant circadian rhythms is the sleep-wake cycle.
Our Circadian Rhythm, an intelligence that nature has designed for us to perform certain tasks during certain times of the day, to avoid chaos in your body, right from hormones, blood sugar levels, heartbeats to hunger, cravings, memory, digestion and everything else.
How we sleep, eat and digest, secrete certain hormones, bowel movements, and detoxification – everything works according to this circadian rhythm. In simple words, it is about how different processes in our body are designed to be carried out during different times. We experience jet lag when the body clock does not readjust immediately to the time change.
The human body is intelligent and works on the concept of rhythm, which is driven by nature. Every cell in our body vibrates at a frequency and is controlled by a rhythm. One cannot have a liver operating at a different frequency to that of the kidney and heart. Our heart, pulse, heartbeat, blood pressure, digestion, menstrual cycle – everything works according to a rhythm and they keep changing throughout the day. The rhythm at which our digestive system functions, when we wake up, is different from what it is in the evening and at night. Even our eyes tune into different frequencies called the photic frequency according to the light exposure.
Now, if we are synced in with the right rhythm our body needs to be in, we evolve and thrive. On the other hand, if we are out of sync, we can have anything from heart disease to hormonal imbalances and depression. It is simple! We have a disease when our body is not at ease; that means when the cells are not working in harmony with each other.
Coming back to Circadian Rhythm, What is it?
In the hypothalamus of our brain, there is a master clock called the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN). This master clock controls all the other clocks in our body. There are clocks in every cell of our body, including our heart, brain, immune system, and so on.
The SCN controls simple to complex things like:
- Energy levels through the day
- Quality of sleep
- Hormone secretion (insulin, cortisol, melatonin, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone,
and many more)
- Neurotransmitter production
- Regulation of the heartbeat
- Blood pressure
- Sugar levels
- Digestive system activity, enzyme, and acid secretion
- Immune System
- Hunger and cravings
- Body temperature
In short, SCN controls everything. Hence, it is a master clock. Ideally, you should wake up feeling fresh, but you do not. This is because the Circadian Rhythm is challenged.
In order to maintain our Circadian Rhythm we should go to bed and wake up at the same time each day and clock our body. Avoid substances known to affect sleep right before bed such as alcohol, caffeine, tea.