Our bodies internal clock is housed deep within the brain and its existence can be most apparent when it is off balance. This clock can affect mood, appetite, alertness, cardiac and other body functions.
At times we all feel the ebb and flow of daily life and the most basic rhythm we live by is the sleep and awake cycle, which is mostly related to the cycle of the sun. It would be ridiculous to think that one has to gaze at the sun and moon to maintain the cycle ! Interestingly, our bodies rely on a hormone known as Melatonin, levels of which increase in the evening causing a sensation of drowsiness, beckoning sleep and decreasing with daylight when a “wake-up” alert kicks in.
So what exactly would throw our bodies out of synch? A sensation of weariness can exist and that one’s rhythm has altered the usual explosive energy. Although sleep is valuable, sleeping in too long can result in a drugged feeling justified by the fact that the hormone melatonin keeps one napping.
Another major factor to consider is Jet lag, also known as time zone disruption as one crosses a number of time zones experiencing daylight and darkness which apparently affects travellers more so who travel from west to east. This is quite logical as flying eastwards, one approaches the sunrise emerging out of darkness.
The human body is to be marvelled. The simple act of talking on one’s cell phone before falling asleep is not a good idea. The white light radiating from the phone indicates to the brain that daylight has arrived and melatonin decreases thereby compromising sleep !
Newborn babies have erratic sleep patterns because their rhythms have yet to develop properly. Mothers will know only too well how much their own sleep is interrupted and can feel “cranky” the next day.
Having all these intricate mechanisms to deal with ` how then can one assist in keeping the time clock as normal as possible?
The experts recommend that maintaining one’s daily cycle on an even keel is the answer. Be a person, a lark or a night owl, one’s activities should be as regular as possible, whether cooking, studying etc. Although this sounds rigid, attention spans vary and peak at different times of the day. Attentiveness improves as the body then adapts to schedules.
Naturally it is inspiring to escape from the norm, breaking down the barriers of regularity, perhaps treating oneself to something special.
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