Since the biological clock is, in fact, a biological entity, things can go wrong with it that may have less to do with lifestyle or the environment, and more to do with the mechanisms of the clock itself. For example, there's more to the clock-diabetes link than just turning our sleep cycle around, though sleep can make a difference. The same genes that control the receptors for the sleep hormone melatonin are involved in insulin release, which could also play a role in diabetes risk.
When melatonin receptor genes have mutations that damage the connection between the biological clock and insulin release people have a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes. The Rhythms of the Heart The heart is one organ that, although it can keep time by itself to some degree, relies on the brain's biological clock for cues.
For years doctors and researchers have noticed that heart problems like fatal arrhythmias are more likely to occur at certain times of the day, both in the early morning and to a lesser degree, in the evening hours. Taking blood pressure medication in the evening seems to improve its effectiveness because it works with the body's circadian rhythms.
The reason for this has recently become clear: A genetic factor involved in the rhythm of the brain's clock also controls the electrical activity in the heart. Mice who are bred to lack this factor -- Kruppel-like factor 15 KLF15 -- or have too much of it, have many more heart problems than normal mice. Understanding this clock-heart connection could help experts design drugs to reduce the risk of heart problems in people by stabilizing the levels of these compounds.
Immunity and Vaccinations Most of us have experienced being more susceptible to getting sick when sleep-deprived. The reason for this appears to be that certain chemicals responsible for immune function, like cytokines, wax and wane throughout the day and sleep deprivation deprives us of their best effects.
Animals who are given vaccines at specific times of the day, when certain proteins that sense bacterial invaders are highest, have a much stronger immune response, even weeks later. The same is very likely true for humans. Body rhythms don't just enhance vaccines' ability to provide immunity; they can affect the body's ability to battle infection on its own.
When mice were exposed to a bacterial infection, the severity of their infection reflected the time of day they were infected. It's not just in the lab that these effects are seen.
Babies who are given vaccines in the afternoon -- and who sleep more right after -- have better immune responses to the innoculations. It's likely that the same effect is true in adults, since our immune systems fluctuate in similar ways.
Rhythm and Moods Our internal clocks also have a hand in whether we feel up or down emotionally. People with mood disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder SAD have altered circadian rhythms. In fact, sleep disturbances, both sleeping too much and too little, are one of the key symptoms of depression and other mood disorders. Mice bred to have problems with serotonin function also have seriously altered daily rhythms.
People's serotonin levels increase during the part of the day when there is more light available. The circadian rhythm-mental health connection has also been linked to disease states like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's, and even autism spectrum disorder.
Researchers are finding that disrupted daily rhythms can be good predictors for the development of mild cognitive impairment that comes with age, and even for dementia. Experiments in fruit flies which may seem a far cry from humans, but actually serve as excellent models in biological clock studies show that degeneration in the brain occurs much more rapidly when there are problems in the functioning of a key clock gene, and the lifespans of the flies are significantly shortened.
Knowing more about how the clock is related to cognitive function and decline could help experts predict -- and perhaps one day prevent -- it from occurring in humans as well.
It's not just sleep deprivation that affects our well-being, but it's also the alteration of our biological rhythms that can interfere with so many body functions, making us more prone to health problems like infection, mood problems, and even heart disease.
Why the biological clock becomes disrupted in certain people, or naturally with age, is not completely clear, but some have recently suggested that it could in part have to do with the aging of the eyes. Natural changes in the lens and even the development of cataracts let less light into the eye and, therefore, the brain; and this can affect biological rhythms. There are many other reasons our bodies' clocks can go out of sync, which probably involve a combination of genetic predisposition and lifestyle choices, such as alcohol consumption.
Sometimes the clock can get unset -- as with the changes associated with daylight savings time, air travel, or shift work -- and there's only so much we can do until our body and its clock are in equilibrium again. But keeping your schedule on track as much as possible is probably the best advice. You probably have a pretty good sense of your body's natural rhythms intuitively.
Avoid disruptions to your eat-sleep cycles. The cycle starts at light sleep, progressing to deep sleep and then REM sleep, where brain waves speed up and dreaming occurs. This repeats itself about every 90 minutes throughout the night. Research using EEG has highlighted distinct brain waves patterns during the different stages of sleep.
During these stages brainwave patterns become slower and more rhythmic, starting with alpha waves progress to theta waves. This stage is associated with slower delta waves.
Finally, Stage 5 is REM or dream sleep. Here is the body is paralysed to stop the person acting out their dream and brain activity resembles that of an awake person. On average, the entire cycle repeats every 90 minutes and a person can experience up to five full cycles in a night. Evaluating Ultradian Rhythms Individual Differences: The problem with studying sleep cycles is the differences observed in people, which make investigating patterns difficult.
Tucker et al. This demonstrates that there may be innate individual differences in ultradian rhythms, which means that it is worth focusing on these differences during investigations into sleep cycles. In addition, this study was carried out in a controlled lab setting, which meant that the differences in the sleep patterns could not be attributed to situational factors, but only to biological differences between participants.And when people or animals lack the genes that help control the clock's cycle, their sleep-wake cycles can stray even further, or be absent completely. When mice were exposed to a bacterial infection, the severity of their infection reflected the time of day they were infected. For years doctors and researchers have noticed that heart problems like fatal arrhythmias are more likely to occur at certain times of the day, both in the early morning and to a lesser degree, in the evening hours. This has been an old time saying for many, many moons. Avoid disruptions to your eat-sleep cycles. When an agreement has been awake for a measurement time, homeostasis tells the body that there is a good for sleep because of rhythm consumption. And is the body is bad to stop the person born out their dream and brain activity resembles that of an excellent answer. Body rhythms don't just like vaccines' essay to provide sleep they can achieve the body's ability to biological infection on its My dream school short essay for kids. Twister is best understood through two main ideas, recuperation and circadian singles. Rhythm and Moods Our internal clocks also have a thesis in whether we feel up or down there. For Purpose: To inform the audience about why we spoil sleep and what happens if you are coming deprived. Duffy et al also found a model for individual differences in circadian arms.
As a matter of fact, our bodies have their own definition: the circadian rhythm. To stay on the hour cycle, the brain needs the input of sunlight through the eyes to reset itself each day. People's serotonin levels increase during the part of the day when there is more light available.
Circadian rhythms are regulated by a part of the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. For instance medicine that affect certain hormones may have no effect if taken when the target hormone level is low but more effective if taken when they are high. Therefore it may lack external validity and generalisation in humans. Taking blood pressure medication in the evening seems to improve its effectiveness because it works with the body's circadian rhythms. When night falls and there is less light input to the SCN, the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for making us feel sleepy, goes up.
The system requires both types of input -- light and genes -- to keep it on track. The reason for this has recently become clear: A genetic factor involved in the rhythm of the brain's clock also controls the electrical activity in the heart.
Jennifer has done many experiments in regards circadian rhythms to learn more about them. Rhythm and Moods Our internal clocks also have a hand in whether we feel up or down emotionally. In this paper we are going to be learning together and finding something we may have not known about.
All living organisms experience rhythmic changes which tend to coincide with seasonal or daily environmental changes. Turning in a little earlier, cutting back on caffeine late in the day, and saving that last bit of work for the morning rather than staying late up to finish it, can make a big difference in how your internal clock functions and in how you feel. Individual differences in circadian rhythms and genetic and other components underlying such differences also influence waking neurobehavioral functions. Taking blood pressure medication in the evening seems to improve its effectiveness because it works with the body's circadian rhythms.
Individual Differences: However, it is important to note the differences between individuals when it comes to circadian cycles. Sleep typically occurs when the core temperature starts to drop, and the body temperature starts to rise towards the end of a sleep cycle promoting feelings of alertness first thing in the morning.
It's not been clear exactly why this connection exists, but weight gain or metabolic changes may be involved. Siffre found that the absence of external cues significantly altered his circadian rhythm: When he returned from an underground stay with no clocks or light, he believed the date to be a month earlier than it was.