Did you know that the internal clock can affect your health and personality? Let’s take a look…

You have a stimulating and contracting mechanism in your brain that regulates your internal body clock (circadian rhythm).

What is the internal clock?

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As stated in the PNAS Journal (2015), the internal clock is roughly a 24 hour internal clock that influences the rhythms of life – everything from sleep, regulation of your temperature, your blood pressure, hunger, alertness, the release of your hormones and many more.

The internal clock is located deep within your brain and it is controlled by the genes that are also part of how your other body systems work.

The internal clock is extremely complicated. It operates in a feedback loop where some of the output is fed back as an input.  It keeps on ticking whether you are asleep or awake.

How does your internal clock affect your health & personality?

Here are 4 ways that the internal clock can affect your health & personality

1) It can influence your sleep pattern

Your sleep pattern can be influenced by the internal clock. The internal clock regulates the production of the hormone melatonin which controls your sleep and wake cycles . You naturally experience various levels of sleepiness and alertness.

The production of melatonin is high at night and low during the day. A study published in the Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience (1994) found that the pattern of the melatonin production is altered when there is a disorder in the internal clock. This will affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

internal clock_3Constantly having inadequate sleep can lead to various health problems including diabetes and heart disease.

2) It can influence your health

Disorders in the internal clock can increase your risk of a range of diseases including the Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome is the medical word for a combination of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high LDL cholesterol.

These factors increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

A review published in the Circulation Research (2010) suggested that changes in the internal clock is a risk factor for disorders including diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

3) It can influence your mood

Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder impact your brain and can affect your thoughts, feelings and your general sense of well-being.

The internal clock can influence your mood. A study published in the Current Pharmaceutical Design (2011) suggest a primary involvement of an abnormality in the internal clock in the origin of mood disturbances and disorders including depression and bipolar disorders.

4) It can influence your personality

Various factors can have an effect on your personality. The internal clock can influence your personality. A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research (1996) found that there was a prevalence of personality disorders in patients suffering from a disorder in the internal clock.

The bottom line

The internal clock ensures that everything in your body happens in its own time, for a particular reason and equally. A disruption of the internal clock can cause problems.

Genetic disposition and lifestyle factors can have an effect  on your internal clock. It is important for you to practice good sleep hygiene –  go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. Also eat your meals at the same time every day. This can make a difference in how your internal clock works and in the way you feel.

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References

1. Kidd P B, Young M W, Siggia E D (2015) Temperature compensation and temperature sensation in the circadian clock. PNAS, 112: E6284-E6292.

2. Brown G M (1994) Light, Melatonin and the sleep-wake cycle. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, 19: 345-353.

3. Maury E, Ramsy K M, Bass J (2010) Circadian Rhythms and Metabolic Syndrome. Circulation Research, 106: 447-462.

4. Quera Slava M A, Hartley S, Barbot F, Alvarez J C, Lofaso F, Guilleminault C (2011) Circadian rhythms, melatonin and depression. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 17: 1459-1470.

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