Our answers are ready when we are asked about our height, weight, age, working hours, average sleeping period and our internet password.
The Society of Cardiology, related to heart health, arouses our attention to remind us of the vital importance of knowing about biological rates and levels in our body as we know some personal information such as our height, weight, birth date and shoe size in a brochure which was issued for raising consciousness about heart health.
In my seminars, we try to find the best functional answers in fields of action to “how” questions which the life demands to be answered. At the end of the seminars, in question-answer sessions most of the answers are related individuals’ communications with themselves; we share our experiences in nourishment, relaxation, self care, worship, regularity, planning and discipline in lectures.
What participants follow with high interest most is “our biological clock”. I shared the topic with my doctor colleagues recently and I believe sharing its details here will be beneficial.
What is “our biological clock”? What provides this wonderful stabilization in nature is the pituitary gland located near the centre of the brain in living beings which is a small and simple organ. This gland whose existence was known hundreds of years before the birth of Christ and which is as small and light as a pill exists in fish, reptilians, in animals living both in land and water, in birds and almost all mammals.
The pituitary gland which regulates the biological rhythm is known for fulfilling its duty releasing ‘melatonin’ hormones. The amount of secretion of this hormone is determined by the day and night times or more correctly, the continuum of darkness and brightness surrounding it, that is, the body clock works simultaneously with the day light cycle. The regulation of secretion of hormones in a-24-hour period is called a “biological clock”. A disorder occurring in that cycle for to any reason causes the biological clock to be disconcerted.
WHAT MAKES OUR BIOLOGICAL CLOCK CONFUSED
Let us get started with a general sample; ‘jet lag’ disorder after long distance travel with a plane is an event which is experienced due to the confusion of biological clock. Because, the hormones which raise the maximum and decrease minimum levels in particular moments in a-24-hour time period show level change in wrong moments in new time period when you just arrive. Until the body gets accustomed to a new time period, it staggers for a while.
Suzanne Warner from Swinburne Technology University says that every individual has a genetic inclination towards waking up early or going to bed late but due to hormone changes in puberty, teenagers begin to go to bed later and wake up later as much as possible. Warner saying that environmental factors may cause problems in sleeping states also that the artificial lights like night light cause the melatonin hormone to be released lesser and the computers prevent the youngsters from caring about their sleep need.
Warner suggests that parents diminish the light and turn off the computer and TV an hour before sleeping to cope with the sleeping problem of youngsters at least. Prof. Dr. Aziz Sancar from North Carolina University in USA says that work or study at nights and sleeping while the lights on, leaving the biological clock of the body deactivated may lead to serious health problems. Sancar says that switching off the lights while sleeping is necessary for healthy functioning of the biological clock of the body and adds that for people who are afraid of darkness it is more appropriate to use red light as a night light. Leaving the TV on while sleeping causes you wake up without relaxation and for your biological clock to become confused.
The functioning of our 24 hour biological clock is mentioned below. I believe you will read it with interest and revise all your attitudes, behaviours and social activities according to this 24-hour functioning programme. I remember when I learned about the biological clock for the first time I got angry with myself.
24 HOURS OF OUR BIOLOGICAL CLOCK
5:00-06:00 Preparation for the day: Stress hormones increase six fold of its daily amount. The body embarks on acting. The energy which is spent throughout the night comes back. The metabolism gets into action and the energy and protein get ready for the work of the day. Now, we are ready to start for a new day.
07:00 Breakfast time: The organism has awakened but it is still weak. The muscles and joints are cold so we feel hard our body and stiffen our joints. We should avoid sports at that time. Instead of sports we can have a good breakfast. Digestion organs work well at that time and carbohydrates turn into energy without being stored.
08:00 Pulse and blood pressure increases:
Heartbeats, which are 60 while we are asleep, increase 72-78 bands when we get up. This increase which is necessary for our work raises the risk of heart attack. Besides, cigarettes after breakfast contract the veins much more than any time.
09:00-10:00-11:00 The most productive work hours: The body reaches its highest temperature. “Short term memory” is in the best condition. These are the most appropriate hours for intense working. Concentration and logical thinking is at the highest level.
12:00 – 13:00 – 14:00 Exhaustion comes out: Concentration decreases and sleep overcomes. The blood amount which flows into the brain diminishes because the blood will be used for digestion in stomach. After lunch, drowsiness overcomes. The probability of getting an infraction of those who had a siesta at that time decreases 30 per cent.
15:00 The happiest moment of the day: In this hour, endorphin which is called happiness hormone climaxes. Our energy gets back for new works and our memory is up to the mark. We experience our second productive time period but this productivity level is less than in the morning.
16:00 – 17:00 Adrenalin level is at its height. The muscles strengthen: The activation of the organs is well. Our strength increases. Brain and muscle coordination is perfect. It is determined that most of the Olympic records are broken at that time. Blood pressure and circulation is in good condition. It is the moment when little muscles are most powerful and efficient.
18:00 Exhaustion starts, it is time for dinner: Our muscles begin to get weak. Our stomach releases acid the most at that time. It is a good time for dinner. The pancreas is especially much active at this hour.
19:00 – 20:00 Life sweetens and sleep time approaches: by the darkness of the weather our bodies prepare for the sleep. The blood pressure lessens and the pulse slows down. Digestion continues.
21:00 When the eating is dangerous: The digestion ends and daily routine of the organs comes to cease. The food eaten after this hour waits in stomach till morning without digestion. This is a dangerous situation. This food which is not digested decays in stomach and turns into harmful garbage. This harmful acid flows in the intestinal mucous.
22:00 Immune system embarks on working efficiently: The activity of leukocytes increases at this time. The body cannot discharge the poisons like nicotine after this time. These kinds of poisons stay in the body till morning and damage it.
23:00 It is just time for sleep and rest: The release of stress hormone stops. We calm down, relax and get easy at that time. The blood pressure and body temperature decrease. Ten minutes later after dozing off heartbeats and brain’s working slow down. 25 minutes later we dive deep into sleep.
24:00 The body renew itself while we sleep: The nutrition which we get at dinner is used for restoration of the cells. Hair grows and the cells renew themselves. All tissues which wear out during day renew during sleep. Missing the opportunity of renewal means to get older a little bit.
01:00-02:00 The productivity and attention is in the lowest level: Those who work still at that time make mistakes because the body adopt itself to sleeping. Eyesight gets weak, reactions slow down. Thus, traffic accidents take place a lot at that time.
03:00 Time for metaphysical tension and introspection: Release of melatonin hormone makes the body lazy and unstable. These are the hours when most suicides take place. This is the most appropriate time for tahajjud prayer.
04:00 First dithers for the new day: The stress hormone embarks on releasing again and we get back our energy. The body begins to prepare itself for the new day. The blood pressure increases and the veins tense. Thus, infarction crisis especially take place mostly between 04:00-06:00 bands. Cardiac and blood pressure patients should take care!
You have realized the communication between the universe and our body, which is a little universe, through a different perspective.
The Divine Power that created the universe provides our heart and pulse to beat.
TUBİTAK The Scientific and Technological Research Magazine of Turkey, “What is the biological clock?” (Original: Biyolojik Saat nedir by Eren Açıkel)