Tick tock. Tick tock. Can you hear your biological clock ticking away? I am pretty sure that I can.
I am certainly not looking at having anymore children! In fact, two is all that I ever wanted and it turns out, that was a good decision, as I don't think that I could handle raising any more than that.
Unlocking the Secrets of Your Biological Clock
Our biological clock does so much more than tell us the perfect time to get pregnant. In fact, both men and women and the young and old are subject to the influence of the biological clocks that we all have.
For example, have you ever stayed awake for an all-nighter and felt off for many days afterwards or flown from one time zone to another and felt the affects of jet lag? The impact is due to a disruption to our internal clock.
All living organisms have an internal biological clock, called the Circadian Rhythm, which helps their bodies adapt to the daily cycle of day and night as the Earth rotates. Click to tweet
How Does It All Work?
Circadian rhythms are controlled by "clock genes" that carry the genetic instructions to produce proteins. These instructions control everything from when we sleep and rest, to body temperature, heart activity, hormone secretion, blood pressure, oxygen consumption, and metabolism. They may even influence our mood, particularly in the form of wintertime depression known as seasonal affective disorder.
Our biological clock has three parts: a way to receive light, temperature or other input from the environment to set the clock, the clock itself, and genes that help the clock control the activity of other genes.
The human Circadian Rhythm is actually 10 to 20 minutes longer than 24 hours. The biological clock keeps working even when we are removed from natural light. Without daylight, the biological clock will eventually start running on its own natural cycle. But as soon as morning light hits our eyes, our clock will reset to match the earth's 24-hour day.
Mental and Physical Health
Sleep is essential to our mental and physical health. Clock genes normally keep us awake during the day and asleep at night. But when a clock gene mutates, it can disrupt the normal sleep cycle. Sunlight, air travel and even the seasons can disrupt our Circadian Rhythms and the quality and quantity of sleep that we get.
What Are the Health Implications of Our Biological Clock Genes?
Understanding exactly how clock genes work may help scientists develop new medicines that adjust or reset the human biological clock to treat the ill effects of jet lag, night shift work or wintertime depression. Clock genes may also offer clues to sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, which makes people feel sleepy during the day.
Our internal clock controls hormone levels, which can affect the way our bodies respond to certain medications. Better knowledge of circadian rhythms may improve the effectiveness of medications by revealing the best times to take them.
Clock genes may someday help scientists treat cancer. At least eight clock genes are known to coordinate normal functions such as cell proliferation (which is uncontrolled in cancer) and cell suicide (which fails to occur in tumour cells).
Simple blood tests may one day help predict the age at which a woman will begin menopause. If the accuracy of the test is confirmed, women could take the test early on in their reproductive life to find out their expected age at menopause and their optimal pregnancy window.
Beverly's Tips To Celebrate Biological Clock Day:
- Now that we've delved into the fascinating world of your biological clock, it's time to celebrate it. No matter what age you are or what life stage you're in, your biological clock is a marvel of nature.Here are a few tips to celebrate Biological Clock Day:
- Know Your 'Real' Age: Take one of those on-line tests to determine your 'real' age versus your actual age and see how you are doing. It's a fun way to assess your overall well-being.
- Consult a Doctor: If sleep difficulties are interfering with your daily life, schedule a doctor's visit. Your health matters and your doctor can help you get back on track.
- Maintain a Healthy Sleep-Wake Program: Stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Avoid napping during the day, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and consider light therapy under a doctor's care to improve your sleep quality.
- Watch Your Habits: Avoid eating or exercising too close to bedtime, and be mindful of stimulants like caffeine and nicotine. These can disrupt your sleep patterns.
- Travel Smart: When travelling across time zones, look for natural ways to align your sleep-wake schedule with the local time. Planning ahead can help reduce the effects of jet lag.
Your biological clock is more than just a concept related to fertility; it's a fundamental aspect of your overall health and well-being. Embrace it, understand it, and celebrate it because it's ticking to the rhythm of your life. And remember, whether your clock is still ticking or the alarm has gone off, every stage of life has its beauty and significance.
Contact Beverly about hosting a mental health workshop for your teams on how to build resilience. Learn relaxation strategies, and discover coping tips to deal with stress, change and crisis!
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!