Biorhythms: Wisdom or Hooey?

Although circadian rhythms have been observed by scientists for centuries, they never gained much footing in the Western medicine paradigm, and therefore seem to be on the periphery in terms of importance.  This shouldn’t be the case.  In this post, I’ll share some beneficial reasons for learning about and supporting these internal cycles that are tied to Nature.

Derk-Jan Dijk, director of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre in Guildford, UK, explains in an article for the international journal Nature that the human body is a house with clocks in every corner, yet in one way or another they work in an organized way.  The timing of our internal clocks profoundly influences metabolism, immunity, and many other critical functions, he goes on to say.  Pretty important, wouldn’t you agree?

A fact sheet from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences describes the body’s various clocks.  Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral (processes) that follow a 24-hour cycle. (They) respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things, including animals, plants, and microbes.  We also have biological clocks, which regulate the cycling of our circadian rhythms.  And then there is the master clock found in the brain which helps keep everything in sync.   

In a past post, Nature Interrupted, I mentioned the importance of these biological time keepers.  Disruption of circadian rhythms, whether through jet travel, shift work, or sleep disturbances, is a known risk factor for several types of cancer, states a release from the Public Library of Science: Biology.  Additionally, a paper from Aging-US indicates many physiological processes such as hormone production and the sleep-wake cycle are under direct control of the circadian clock, and interferences in these cycles are linked to various diseases. 

Over the years, I’ve read a lot about how psychological issues can be brought on or exacerbated by poor sleep.  A Harvard Health Publishing write-up reports a person’s circadian tendency can affect their choice of emotional coping skills, such as assertiveness or rationalization.  And an article from the National Institute of Health asserts the disruption of circadian rhythms can contribute to depression.

Disturbances in our biological rhythms can contribute to premature aging, as well.  The fact that several different components of the circadian clock are involved in the regulation of aging supports the idea that an intact circadian clock is important for longevity, and disruption of circadian oscillations may lead to the acceleration of aging, according to this research paper out of Cleveland State University.  

As for metabolism, Dr. Michael Greger’s site nutritionfacts.org reports on a most interesting weight loss study. Two groups of women were given the same number of calories throughout the day, although the timing of the calorie loads differed: one group was given a 700-calorie meal for breakfast with a lighter lunch & dinner, while the others got a 700-calorie meal for dinner, and fewer calories for breakfast & lunch.  The group that ate most of their calories early in the day lost 11 pounds more than the other group.  This, the article says, is due to the power of biological timing.  I’ve read from various sources that lunch should be larger than dinner, but breakfast as the most calorie-dense meal of the day?  Fascinating!

Supporting healthy biorhythms is pretty simple, but requires habituation. Viewing the sun as it rises and sets, spending time outside during the day, and shutting down devices a couple hours before bedtime are good places to start. In addition, this article from The Holistic Ingredient suggests trying to stick to a pretty regular schedule of sleeping, waking, eating, working, and exercise. Keeping a schedule can help you maintain your internal rhythms, even after a restless night’s sleep, and your focus and attentiveness will improve because your body learns how to get ready for (your planned activities), the article states.

How Western medicine can virtually ignore the significance of circadian rhythms is beyond me.  Taking steps to keep our bio-clocks in sync with the rhythms of our primal Mother Earth appears to be of utmost importance for a healthy mind and body, as well as a long life. 

Blessings for Biorhythmic Sync,

Lisa

The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

55 thoughts on “Biorhythms: Wisdom or Hooey?

  1. You found a bunch of interesting articles to pull all this information together! Going to sleep around the same time every night and waking up around the same time (without an alarm clock) has been the easiest way to help me feel more energized during the day. It was such a simple switch and the results are amazing. In addition, eating my meals around the same time has added a supplemental layer of balance. Thanks for sharing so much research to back up this super beneficial habit.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Not smart enough to know the true impact, ramifications or implications, but corporate life truly destroyed my sleep cycles – ironically my drive for running was in some part to completely drain my body so I could at least get an hour or two of sleep. Looking forward to how this situation improves now that I’ve discarded the non-stop stress and 24/7 problem solving that never would allow my brain to turn off and get adequate rest. Right with you on being more outdoors and being tuned into natures rhythms.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Shaun, hi! The new year has brought huge changes, but I am conscious of adjusting in a healthy manner, and doing ok so far. Thanks for asking! How is 2022 treating you? Glad you found the biorhythm info valuable; I appreciate your kindness. Blessings to you as well, my friend. 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Everything is fine. I am enjoying the new year and whatever it throws at me. Trying to keep on being positive through this pandemic. I just found out there is a new strand of it in France. I found that on Google just browsing. I just pray that a cure for all of this will be found soon. Thank you so much for listening to my presentation, I didn’t think anyone would. I just share what’s on my heart and what God leads me to. I never know what I am going to talk about or write about. I have enjoyed talking to you. It helps to have someone positive to talk to from time to time. Stay blessed Lisa, and have s super weekend.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Very interesting information Lisa, especially the piece about making breakfast the most calorie-dense meal of the day. I know several people who swear by intermittent fasting as a way to lose weight. Personally I notice a big difference in my energy levels if I don’t eat within an hour or two of waking up, so I am not convinced.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, Michelle, thanks for your input. I appreciate intermittent fasting, as well, not only for weight loss, but for general good health. Starting a fast at 6 pm means I can eat breakfast/brunch at 10 am, which allows for a complete fasting cycle, with the added possibility of calorie loading early. (I also find that starting the day with several hydrating liquids works better for me than eating right out of bed.). Enjoy the weekend! 🌞

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Looks like I am a ‘victim’ of breaking the bio rhythm being a shift worker for over 15 years. We know shift work “kills”. In contrast, fortunately, I am still reasonably in good physical and mental state. Perhaps there is more to than just the science. Great article, thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. As a night shift worker, I can attest to the negative impact of a disrupted sleep cycle. I reset to daytime living on the weekends, and jumping back and forth between days and nights is very hard on the system. I’ve always said that if I was single, I wouldn’t switch, but would keep my days and nights inverted full time. But I like to see my sweetie from time to time, so that’s not going to happen. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      1. He jumps though plenty of hoops in return. Whenever he’s off work, he has to tiptoe around the house because I’m asleep. It tends to make his vacations pretty boring. But we manage!

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Life processes, for all creatures, are incredibly complex. As much as humans have learned about them, many times more remains to be learned. And then there’s the subjects of how time and matter began — the answers aren’t known fully yet, and probably never will be!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. When I think of the fact that so many sporting events I watch on television end after midnight, EST, , I think if I moved to the U.S. west coast, my bio rhythms would be much better.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Hi Lisa this comment is about your latest post but it has no comments and I couldn’t find an email. Anyway thought I’d let you know your title has a typo. You missed the fi in Benefit. You can delete this message if you want. Maggie

    Liked by 3 people

  9. There is a rhythm to all things that work to produce harmony… artificially breaking the natural rhythm, and creating another to suit altered circumstances, does not negate from the natural… and causes unnecessary stress…
    🇯🇲🏖️

    Liked by 2 people

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