Summary of Life in Circadia

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Circadian rhythms – the 24-hour cycle all living beings run on – influence not only when you sleep, but how every system in your body functions, including metabolism, cell regeneration and immune response. Science writer Jessa Gamble explains how artificial light, international travel and late-night snacks could negatively affect your daily cycle. The good news is that doctors are learning how to monitor individual rhythms and deliver medical treatments at the correct time to maximize effectiveness and minimize side-effects. getAbstract recommends Gamble’s article to anyone curious about the workings of the human body.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How circadian rhythms control the functions and processes of the human body,
  • Why understanding individual rhythms is important for health, and
  • How precisely timing medical treatments can greatly improve their effectiveness.
 

About the Author

Science writer Jessa Gamble co-owns the Last Word On  Nothing blog. Her latest book is The Siesta and the Midnight Sun: How We Measure and Experience Time.

 

Summary

Circadian rhythms control all living things, as well as  diseases. Your rhythms regulate bodily systems and processes to ensure they work harmoniously to metabolize nutrients, repair genetic damage and bolster the immune system. In humans, a small group of brain cells called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) controls  the circadian rhythm, but each organ also follows its own clock. Daylight stimulates a photoreceptor in the retina to tell the SCN when the clock gets out of rhythm. Other stimuli can cause the organs’ clocks to reset. For example, late-night eating can affect the liver’s and the pancreas’s clocks, moving them out-of-sync with the rest of the body.

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