Circadian Rhythms are basically the physical, mental, and behavioral patterns that your body follows for a period of 24 hours. This rhythmic pattern affects almost all living organisms including animals, plants, and even microbes. The body of each living creature responds to the light and dark and performs the primary functions in accordance with that only.
One of the most famous examples of circadian rhythms is sleeping at night and being awake during the day. So, when it is morning your senses are more active and respond more vigourously to the stimuli whereas when dusk approaches you to start getting into that phase of lethargy.
Let us understand what circadian rhythms imply, their importance and how they affect our health. Read on for more.
Biological Clocks And Circadian Rhythms
Biological clocks of the body regulate your body’s timings and prepare you or alert you to keep your pace in sync with your circadian cycles. The biological clocks are made up of molecules of protein that interact with the cells that are present in the entire body. Hence collecting information about all the different things that an organism does.
As a matter of fact, nearly every molecule or tissue present in our body is a biological clock. Scientists have identified genes in humans that show they too have biological clocks regulating their cycles.
Master Clock is a biological clock that is entirely controlled by the brain wherein the primary function is to keep in check all the biological clocks of the body and help perform the daily activities in accoradance to it. The master clock is hence made up of over 20,000 neurons or nerve cells and has a structure called the suprachiasmatic nucleus which receives direct inputs from the brain.
How Are Circadian Rhythms Formed
The natural processes that a body or a living being follows help in forming the circadian rhythms. Some of the most vital genes that help in the process are Period and Cryptochrome genes. These genes are majorly protein compositions that build up at cell’s nucleus at the night and lessen when its day time. Not only the internal processes, but the environment also affects the circadian rhythms. Exposure to light or darkness is one key example of the same. The wakefulness, alertness, or tedium(reasons that make you sleepy all day) we feel at some particular time periods are a result of the circadian rhythms only.
Health And Circadian Rhythms
Circadian rhythms and our health are directly linked to each other. These rhythms of the body affect the release of the hormone (yoga to stimulate hormonal gland), eating habits and digestion, and also help in maintaining an optimal body temperature.
Further, circadian rhythms affect sleep patterns, as they control the production of melatonin a hormone responsible for sleep. Circadian rhythms also change and factors like a change in your routine, genetic mutations that cause changes in the biological clocks of our body, jet lags that disrupt the day and night cycle, the lights from the electronic devices can also confuse our cell receptors and cause a disturbance in the biological clocks which in turn has effects on our circadian cycles.
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