Preventive Medicine and The Importance of Improving Your Circadian Rhythm

What is circadian rhythm?

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and physical changes in your body that follow a 24- hour cycle.  These changes or natural processes respond primarily to light and dark.  Most living things, such as animals, plants, and microbes, are affected by the natural processes of a circadian rhythm.  An example of a light related rhythm is being awake during the day and asleep at night.  Circadian rhythm is a body’s internal biological clock which tells when it is time to wake-up, when it is time  to eat, and when it is time to sleep.  This internal clock is primarily affected by sunlight and temperature.  For example, sunlight triggers the production of serotonin which causes the body to feel energized.  The absence of sunlight triggers the production of melatonin which causes the body to feel sleepy.  A good circadian rhythm is crucial in helping the body regain energy and replace spent cells after a day’s activities.  A poor circadian rhythm makes the body prone to exhaustion, mental disorders, obesity, and a variety of physical disorders or diseases.   A healthy sleep-wake schedule is vital for the body’s circadian rhythm to function properly.  Not everyone’s circadian rhythm is the same and that is why some people sleep later than others or go to bed earlier than others.  What is important is to maintain a consistent pattern of being awake and being asleep.

What happens when the circadian rhythm is constantly disrupted?

A number of hormones are connected to maintaining a good circadian rhythm and  enjoying a good night’s sleep.  The release of these hormones depends on a body that is well-rested and able to send the appropriate signals various parts of the body to maintain hormone balance and health.  Some of the major hormones connected to sleep are: cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, the hunger hormones, melatonin, thyroid hormones, and the growth hormones.  When the circadian system is out of whack, hormones that affect all areas of the body and its many life functions are either not released or they are not released in the proper amounts.

How does poor sleep affect the body?

It’s obvious that lack of sleep leads to hormone imbalance which can lead to a myriad of health issues.  Sticking to an adequate sleep regiment will helps regulate the body’s  hormones and leads to a  healthier life.  The hormone imbalances caused by a lack of sleep create even more of an imbalance of normal sleep patterns which starts a vicious cycle of deprivation.  For example, melatonin isn’t just about sleep.  While melatonin is a hormone that is secreted by the pineal gland and is responsible for controlling  sleep patterns, it is also responsible for controlling more than 500 other hormones in the body including those hormones responsible for a healthy immune system

How does a poorly functioning circadian rhythm affect weight gain?

Poor sleep or disrupted sleep impacts the levels of hunger hormones in your body.  These hormones when produced at the proper times and in the proper amounts help the body’s  metabolism work efficiently.  Metabolism is a chemical process in the body that produces energy from food and nutrients  When these hormones are affected by lack of sleep, they disrupt hunger, food intake, and appetite all of which can cause weight gain.

How does a poorly functioning circadian rhythm affect aging?

Sleep has a great impact on the production of human growth hormones or HGH in the body.  Cutting sleep means cutting the levels of HGH.  Less HGH may mean more injuries, a weakened immune system, and a tendency to gain belly fat.  About 75% of HGH  is produced at night while the body is sleeping, especially during the first part of stage 3 sleep, otherwise known as deep sleep.  During sleep, HGH works to repair and restore the body from day-to-day wear and tear it faces.  Without a good night’s sleep, this rebuilding process is stalled.  Without this rebuilding process, the body ages more rapidly.  Healthy levels of HGH also help to improve memory and focus and relieve stress and anxiety.  Just another good reason to get a good night’s sleep.

How to improve your circadian rhythm?

Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will help your body reset its internal clock.  Since everyone’s circadian rhythm is individual, you may need to experiment with your sleep cycle until you find the best time for you.  Since the circadian system of the body ids triggered by light, expose yourself to sunlight soon after waking up.  The light can be from a natural source or from a light therapy source. Try to cut out or limit your daily naps.   Avoid consuming certain foods, such as caffeine, before bedtime.  Have your doctor test you to make sure you are receiving the right amount of nutrients and vitamins for healthy sleep and energy.  Try to only eat when the sun is up.  Delayed meals affect plasma glucose.  Sleep in pitch black without lights, including those of TV’s or other electronic devices, and in a cool environment.  Improving your body’s circadian rhythm is one of the best types of preventative medicines.

How can Androgenix help?

If you are having difficulties sleeping or maintaining a normal sleep pattern then talk with our staff and doctors at Androgenix.  If you constantly feel tired or sluggish, we are here to help.  There may be underlying causes to your inability to enjoy a restful night’s sleep and we at Androgenix want to help you sleep and feel better.  Also, if you have any concerns about other areas of your health, please contact our office and make an appointment with our staff to get a complete blood work-up and a physical examination. Our staff of caring healthcare practitioners are here to answer your questions and develop an appropriate treatment plan for you.  You will be monitored by our team for treatment effectiveness and side effects of any recommended treatment on a regular basis.   Our team at Androgenix is always here to support your journey to a better, healthier, and happier you.  Every person who enters our doors is treated as an individual deserving of care and respect.  We can help you feel and look better.  Give us a call today.







*Unless otherwise stated, individual results may vary depending on many factors not all patients “feel” or achieve the same results.