In my last post, I talked about what is the body rhythm  and how does it work. Paying attention to the body rhythm is more important than we realize.

However, our modern lives have thrown the rhythms off. We have stopped listening to the body clock and pay more attention to the wrist watch. This can lead to many health problems.

How is the body rhythm disrupted?

1) Shift work

Doing shift work means you are working in the night while sleeping in the day. The body clock or the circadian rhythm respond primarily to light and darkness. So your natural sleep pattern is disrupted and this affects other systems. The same gene that controls the receptor for sleep hormone, melatonin, is also involved in insulin releases. Therefore, this can increase the risk of diabetes and weight gain.

2) Jet lag

Flying across time zone disrupt the body clock. Our body tells us it is time to sleep, but our environment tells us otherwise. So, we become disoriented and foggy.

3) Eating

Eating at the wrong time can affect the body rhythm. Having a huge supper just before you sleep will cause the body to focus on digestion rather than detoxifying when we sleep. Eating the wrong food can also throw the body rhythm off.

Here are 5 health problems that develop when the body rhythm is disrupted:

1) Decrease in immunity

Most people are susceptible to sickness when they don’t get enough sleep. This is because the chemicals that is responsible for immunity wax and wane throughout the day. When sleep is deprived, the cycle of the immune chemicals are also disrupted. This can affect the body’s ability to fight infections.

2) Mood disorder

People with mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disease were discovered to have altered body clock. They tend to sleep too much or too little.

3) Neuro-degeneration

When the body clock is disrupted, the rhythms that regulate cell function and health get disrupted leading to the predisposition of the brain to degenerate.

Study reported in Neurobiology of Disease by researchers from Oregon State University on fruit files. When the gene of the fruit files was altered to disrupt the circadian rhythm, the flies were found to develop holes in the brain and exhibit signs of aging. 30-50% of the files have shorter life span and lost of motor functions.

4) Diabetes

Evidence has linked the relationship between body clock hormone melatonin to type 2 diabetes. People carrying a gene mutation in the receptor to melatonin have higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

5) Heart health

Disrupted to the body rhythm increases the level of triglycerides in the body. High triglyceride level increases the risk of heart diseases.

Dr M. Mahmood Hussain, Professor of Department of Cell Biology and Pediatrics from the University of New York Downstate Medical Center reported in the journal Cell Metabolism in August. He tested on 2 groups of mice. One group has a normal cycle of active in the day and sleep in the night. The second group of mice has a “broken” body rhythm where they eat day and night. The second group has higher triglyceride level than the first.

As you can see that not paying attention to the body rhythm has adverse impact on our health. You may not feel it immediately but on a long-term, your health will suffer. So, it is important to listen to your body clock.

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