Fascinating World Of Chronobiology
24 Hours in the Life of Your Body, the fascinating world of chronobiology – the study of the ticking human clock body function.
Our brain has a clock that knows exactly where you are in the 24 hour day. Hour by hour, how the human body renews itself depending on our in-built 24-hour body clock, controlled by 20,000 cells at the base of our brain, our body know when to work hardest and when to take a break, when to tolerate pain, and when a disease is most likely to hit.
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Most of our other organs also have an internal clock and daily rhythms. The time of the day strongly affects on our body, mind, and each of our organs performance like when is the best time of day to exercise, what time of day is our concentration the best? Best time for meals? Is there a high-risk time of day?.
12.00 midnight to 03.00 AM
People are entering into deep sleep. If you have not gone to bed by this time, you should feel tired.
At midnight, while our minds are asleep, our bodies are busy absorbing the fat we have consumed during the day, our hair growing and our cells are beginning their intricate repair processes.
Midnight is the time when pregnant women are most likely to begin experiencing labor pains. At this hour, the body experiences a rush in progesterone, the hormone secreted by the ovary during the menstrual cycle and by the placenta during the menstrual cycle and by the placenta during pregnancy to bring on labor. This is thought to be the body’s evolutionary way of making sure the mother’s partner is with her when her baby is born.
Anyone who has suffered from gout will tell you that the worst attacks often come around this time of night. This is because the concentration in joints causes pain – peaks between midnight of the night.
Levels of the hormone vasopressin, which suppresses bladder activity increase, so you should not need to go to the loo in the middle of the night.
Asthma sufferers are 300 times more likely to have a severe asthma attack now than at any other time. Adrenaline and anti-inflammatory hormones are at their lowest between 3am and 4am, which causes airways to narrow. Spasm-triggering compounds called leukotrienes and also at their highest.
Some doctors recommend taking vitamin C and vitamin B before bedtime to help to support the adrenal glands and reduce the risk of getting an asthma attack during the night.
03.00 AM to 06.00 AM
This is the low time of your metabolism, with 4 am usually being the lowest point. At this time most people have the lowest blood pressure, the highest blood viscosity, and the highest blood platelet stickiness.
You are most likely to die at this time in hospital, according to figures from the Harvard Medical School. The reason could be that blood pressure reaches a low during deep sleep. Sudden infant death syndrome is also most likely to occur at this time for the same reason. On a more positive note, more women give birth naturally between 4am and 6am than at any other time.
Growth hormones are secreted through the night to repair tissue and strengthen bones, so at this time the body does not want to be awake. Those working the night shift are at their least alert now because of the high levels of melatonin, which make us want to sleep.
According to survey, if you’re driving a car or operating equipment, your performance would be ‘worse than if you were drunk’. It is no coincidence that many of the world’s major accidents happened at this time.
Anyone wanting to become pregnant should try to conceive now. You are most likely to conceive a few hours after ovulation, which usually starts around midnight. Fortunately, this coincides with the time that our libidos are at their peaks. In the early morning, the male sex hormone testosterone, which is responsible for sex drive in both males and females, surges. Women are most likely to start menstruation at this time.
06.00 AM to 10.00 AM
When you wake in the morning your metabolism is slow. Your blood vessels are constricted after sleeping, so your blood pressure is high as you start your day. Your blood platelets are measurably “sticky”. At this time exercise actually increases your blood pressure, so it is best not to do any heavy exercise. This is the time of the day when most heart attacks occur.
It is best not to eat food within 30 minutes of rising. However, I do recommend that you have breakfast to prepare for the day. Try to have some protein at that time.
Sunlight, both on your skin and through your eyes, wakes your body and its clocks. Plenty of sunlight in the morning will help you to wake early. If you are waking too early in the morning, then avoid bright light in the morning and instead try to get your sunlight in the middle of the day.
Sufficient sunlight during the day will help you sleep better at night, gives you better brain function, decreases your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and has many other benefits.
Men often tend to wake with an erection, and their testosterone level is highest at this time of day. This is the time when they may feel the most sexual and have the strongest desire. Male testosterone levels fall as the day progresses.
Women are built differently. They tend to wake with low levels of sex hormones, and it may not be until 9:00 or later before they have any innate sexual desire. As the day progresses, their sex hormone levels generally increase, with a peak in the 4-6 or 6-10 pm time slot.
Your joints and body feel stiff in the morning because anti-inflammatory hormones are at their lowest level and your muscle temperature is low after a night of sleep. This is why sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis usually feel more pain in the early morning.
It is also the time you are most likely to get migraine because of fluctuations of the ‘feel good’ hormone serotonin. The trigger for an attack is a lack of this chemical, which occurs naturally in the brain. It is this chemical imbalance that makes the blood vessels constrict in the head, causing the eyes to widen and leading to extreme pain and sensitivity to light.
As your body wakes up, blood pressure and temperature start to rise and there is a surge in the stress hormone cortisol. It is at this time that heart attacks, angina and sudden cardiac deaths are most common because the combination of cortisol and the increase in heartbeat puts pressure on the heart.
When you are sleeping, the average human heart beats about 60 times per minute. As soon as you get out of bed, it rises to between 72 and 78 beats. According to American research, acute heart attacks are three times more common in the early morning than in the late evening.
Research has also found that on a Monday morning you are 40 per cent more likely to have a heart attack than at any other time – possibly because of the higher levels of stress hormones in the morning, combined with a weekend excess of food and drink which will increase blood pressure. Your blood clots the most at this time, which also makes your risk of stroke highest at 8am.
Your digestive system is working at its peak now, so first thing in the morning is the best time to eat a big meal. Metabolism is most active in the morning, which means fats absorbed from foods are less likely to be deposited in the body than in the evening.
If you need to have an injection, now is the time to have it because you are least likely to feel pain. The hormone adrenaline which helps us to endure pain, peaks now.
This is the best time to take an exam or interview because wakefulness peaks mid-morning so concentration, short-term memory and logical reasoning are at their best. The body’s glucose levels are also high, giving the brain and body good energy levels.
10.00 AM to 12.00 PM(noon)
This is the time of your mental peak. Your concentration, memory, focus and creativity should be best at this time of the day. Use this period to do that work that needs your best thinking, rather than using it for other tasks.
Balance and muscle control are best at this time in the morning. However, the best time for exercise is in the afternoon.
Your immune system is at its most vulnerable now because the helper T lymphocytes of the immune system are at their least active during this time. T lymphocytes are the crucial white blood cells that move around the body fighting infection and disease, including cancer.
The risk of stroke due to clot formation and blood vessel blockages is at its highest because blood pressure peaks around midday. Strokes known as cerebral infarctions are 50 per cent more likely to strike between 6am and midday that at any other time. High blood pressure puts extra pressure on blood vessels that are already narrowed by fatty deposits – often caused by cholesterol – and can cause the vessel to rupture and bleed into the brain.
12.00PM to 02.00 PM
Most people have lunch in this period. Notice how you may feel sleepy after lunch? Our Paleolithic ancestors probably had a nap at this time, and many cultures and traditional communities still do. You can benefit from a short sleep or a catnap too.
13.00 (01.00 PM)
Your urinary production is reaching a high point after a morning of liquid consumption, and your kidneys are working at maximum efficiency to wash out any toxins in the body.
As your body works to digest lunch, physical efficiency and energy drops – which is why most of us would like a siesta now. You are more likely to be in a road accident at this time, because the body slows down dramatically and concentration levels can dip.
02.00 PM to 04.00 PM
This is a time for activity. Blood vessel dilation is poor in the morning, and exercise actually increases blood pressure. However, by the early afternoon your blood vessels are starting to dilate, and exercise has the effect of decreasing blood pressure. Your body temperature is highest during the afternoon.
A good time to have an aerobic workout. The body is at its strongest, most flexible and responsive now because it is warm and adrenaline levels are at a high. Adrenaline is pumping around your body, increasing your heart rate and dilating blood vessels and airways. Most Olympic records have been set at this time.
Hair and nails grow quickest between 4pm and 5pm and lung function can change by up to 50 per cent over the course of a day.
04.00 PM to 06.00 PM
This is the best time for exercise. Athletes can get up to 10% better times and performance during this period of the day. Your blood vessels are most dilated, your body temperature is highest, and exercise is the most beneficial for your body, having the effect of noticeably decreasing blood pressure. Your body is most resilient, and the fewest heart attacks are recorded at this time of the day.
You can give your firmest handshake as tests have shown grip strength is at its peak now. This could be because the little muscles in the figures – the intrinsic hand muscles and finger flexors – are at their strongest after a day of constant use.
As the body begins to tire, muscle tone is lessening and heart rate and blood pressure are gradually reducing. By early evening, your stomach is producing more acid. The more food that is in the stomach, the more acid it produces. The acid build-up can sometimes be pushed up the esophagus, causing acid reflux. It can also aggravate any existing stomach ulcers.
06.00 PM to 10.00 PM
People generally have their dinner in this period, and continue with other more social activities. However, this should be the smallest meal of the day. It is not a good time to have a large meal requiring a lot of digestive power. Insulin is not as effective at night as it is during the day. Protein digestion is inefficient at night.
If you drink alcohol, this is the best period in which to drink. You should be well awake at this time, and less likely to be affected (depressed or sleepy) from drinking the alcohol.
19.00 (07.00 PM)
As daylight fades, your body is starting to secrete melatonin to prepare for sleep. As the body relaxes, your sense of smell and taste are at their most acute – making it the ideal time for a delicious meal.
Liver enzymes increase now, meaning that they are best able to break down alcohol – so treat yourself to a drink. They decrease again by 10pm.
You are most likely to suffer from pain as your pain threshold is at its lowest. This is because levels of pain-blocking endorphins are falling.
Your immunity is at its optimum level because levels of interleukin, one of your body’s immune system regulators increases at this time.
10.00 PM to 12.00 AM (midnight)
Most people go to bed in this time slot. If you find you are not able to get to sleep until late at night, then get more sunlight during the day, especially in the morning. Bright light late in the day tends to waken you for the next few hours.
23.00 (11.00 PM)
Your sensitivity to allergies is at a peak. By 11.30pm, high melatonin levels make us feel ready to sleep. Ten minutes after we fall asleep, the heart rate slows and brain waves reduce. Twenty-five minutes later, we are in a deep sleep.
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