Know the Body, 5 Circadian Rhythm Facts You Need to Know
Unless we realize it, our bodies do a lot of complex work. Organs, tissues and cells work together and in rhythm 24 hours a day. Their activity is what we know as the circadian rhythm.
The timing of waking and sleeping is only one of many activities that are influenced by circadian rhythms. However, that’s not the only thing amazing about circadian rhythms. At least, there are 5 other interesting facts for you to know. Here’s the review!
1. The circadian rhythm is not unique to humans
Yes, other living things such as plants, animals, and even bacteria also have circadian rhythms. In animals, for example, exposure to sunlight determines the time for their activities, such as foraging, hibernation, and even migration.
Rodents such as rats and hamsters are noctural animals that have a keen sense of smell at night, which is when they are used to find food.
2. Almost every tissue and organ of the body has a biological clock
The biological clock and the circadian rhythm are interrelated, because the biological clock functions to regulate the circadian rhythm. The biological clock contains certain molecules in the form of proteins that interact with cells throughout the body.
One of the most important genes that help this protein work is Period and Cryptochrome. These proteins are produced at night and reduced during the day. This protein also provides a signal when we are awake, awake, and sleepy.
3. Stress can mess up the circadian rhythm, how?
Not only jet lag, nighttime work hours, and exposure to light from electronic goods, stress can mess with circadian rhythms as well.
The results of research conducted by a research team from Nagoya University found that neurons called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) – neurons that respond to stress – can become very active when mammals are under stress.
Excessive stress conditions that occur over a long period of time can trigger insomnia and other sleep disorders.
4. Do not take it lightly, changes in circadian rhythms can trigger various diseases
One of the parameters for determining the condition of our immune system is the number of leukocytes (white blood cells) circulating in the body. This leukocyte production reaches its peak when we are resting. When the circadian rhythm shows an irregularity, it affects the leukocytes in the body.
5. The body has a master clock that regulates all biological clocks
- The body has a master clock whose function is to regulate the peripheral clocks that are scattered throughout the body to work in harmony. There are at least about 20,000 neurons that work to form a structure called the SCN or suprachiasmatic nucleus for this master clock.
The SCN is in every component of the peripheral clocks of the body’s organs. The SCN in the brain works by accepting the design of the light it receives through the eye. When the eye receives less light, the SCN will give orders to the brain to produce the hormone melatonin so that when it becomes sleepy.
Given how important the role of the circadian rhythm is and how it affects the body, it is important for us to keep it functioning properly. If not needed, reduce activities that can trigger circadian rhythm changes such as staying up late or playing with electronic devices before bed. Let’s be more disciplined for a healthier body!