We often hear about the body’s biological clock and its effect on our sleep hours, so what is the biological body clock? How does this biological clock work?
Most people experience different levels of drowsiness and sleep throughout the day, as a result of different body clocks, so what is the body clock? How does the biological clock work?
The body’s biological clock
The biological clock of the body is defined as an innate mechanism that controls the physiological activities of the organism, which change in a daily, seasonal or annual cycle, and it is located in a region called the supraclavicular nucleus located directly above the point of the brain.
It was found that the body clock controls not only the hours of sleep, wakefulness, and aging, but is also responsible for feelings of hunger, mental alertness, mood, stress, and heart function.
How does the body’s biological clock work?
One of the most important questions and questions that many individuals may have regarding the biological clock of the human body is, how does the biological clock work? What are the inputs and criteria for its work?
Melatonin is the primary responsible for regulating the body’s biological clock throughout our lives. This hormone is produced in the pineal gland located in the brain. Its secretion increases at night and as the morning approaches, its production stops.
Of course, there are some natural differences in daily vigilance during the day, for example, naps, in which people sleep during the daylight hours, so the biological clock varies from one person to another according to his practices and lifestyle, and for the biological clock to function properly requires the presence of 3 inputs, namely:
Genes: Genes help control the 24-hour cycle of the biological clock, and when people or animals lack these genes, the sleep-wake cycles can be disrupted.
Light: The brain needs to enter sunlight through the eyes to reset its biological clock daily, and when a person affects his biological clock, such as staying in the dark continuously, a 24-hour cycle is disrupted.
Temperature: The temperature affects the action of the hormone melatonin, in the night hours the body temperature drops, which increases the secretion of the hormone.
Diseases and the body’s biological clock
When a malfunction occurs in the biological clock as a frequent mutation or accident, this may increase the incidence of the following diseases:
Diabetes: In the event of a mutation in the receptors for the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for the biological clock, this increases the possibility of developing diabetes, since the genes that control the melatonin receptors are involved in the secretion of the hormone insulin.
Heart disease: A genetic defect in the brain’s biological clock also affects the electrical activity in the heart, increasing the risk of heart problems.
Manic-depressive disease: A defect in the genes responsible for the activity of the biological clock may increase the incidence of manic-depressive disease.
Delayed sleep phase disorders: People with this disorder have trouble adjusting the circadian clock, which can be uncomfortable when trying to schedule activities such as work and school.
Other mental illnesses: Biological clock and mental health have been linked to conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and autism spectrum disorder. Researchers are finding that a disrupted biological clock can cause mild cognitive impairment that comes with age..