Your circadian rhythm.
It’s your body’s natural response to the light of the day and the dark of the night.
In a healthy state, your circadian rhythm energizes you every morning and calms you every night. It regulates your hormones over a 24-hour cycle so you can sleep deeply and wake up refreshed.
In general, your circadian rhythm is tied to a 24 hour body clock involved in sleep/wake cycles. It is one of the four biological rhythms of your body.
Your brain cells are able to respond appropriately to the light and dark of our environment. This involves the visual pathways in your brain so that appropriate signals may be sent to tell you the times to be alert or be ready to sleep.
The hormones involved in biological rhythms are melatonin and cortisol. Melatonin is made in the pineal gland and levels begin to rise in the evening. Coupled with signals from your brain responding to the dark, melatonin release helps prepare you to sleep. Cortisol from the adrenal gland begins increased production in the morning, signaling your body to be awake and alert.
While you are sleeping, especially during deep sleep, your body temperature lowers. During the day when you are active, your body temperature rises.
Like body temperature, body metabolism works at different rates during a 24 hour period. In addition, your body heals and repairs itself while you are sleeping.
But….lots of things can throw off your circadian rhythm: like working the night shift or sleeping until noon on the weekends or drinking too much wine at night. Circadian rhythms are different based on your age group. Babies do not develop a circadian rhythm until they are several months old and children need more sleep than adults. As we age, circadian rhythms may change again with elderly adults getting less sleep at night leading to more naps during the day!
Your biological clock may also be affected by medications, travel into different time zones, jet lag, stress, mental health issues and poor sleep habits.
And now? We discover there’s something else that can mess with your daily flow…
Some quick background:
➔Methylation is a fundamental reaction that happens in every cell of the human body
➔If you want to get specific, methylation means transferring a methyl group (CH3) from one substance to another
➔Many basic processes require methylation—like detoxification, estrogen metabolism, fat metabolism, neurotransmitter production, and more
We also know that poor methylation can contribute to a lot of problems…
New research has discovered that poor (or deficient) methylation also messes with the circadian rhythm
What’s even more crazy is that scientists found this to be true across all organisms— from tiny algae all the way up through humans.
What’s it mean to you?
You now have yet ANOTHER reason to make sure you are methylating properly. Some people have poor methylation because of genetic polymorphisms (we can test for things like MTHFR and I can show you how to order your own). Other people have poor methylation because they eat a nutrient-deficient diet without enough B vitamins. That can be rectified with Vitamin B Complex injections.
Methylation is one of many things we take into consideration when we look at optimizing health and the body as a whole. Now we know that healthy methylation might even help your energy, sleep, and daily rhythm.
You can read my blog post on strategies for improving your sleep quality here: https://www.healthwithoutrisk.com/whatever-gets-you-through-the-night/
Fustin, J., Ye, S., Rakers, C. et al. Methylation deficiency disrupts biological rhythms from bacteria to humans. Commun Biol 3, 211 (2020). https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-020-0942-0