Blake Snow

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How heeding our body clocks leads to better health

Courtesy NY Times

Can we improve our health by changing when we do something during the day? “Yes,” argue a growing number of circadian doctors.

For instance, the above report found that over half of our body’s organs and cells function on a 24 hour clock and perform differently depending on the sun. For example, our livers like to sleep at night, so if we wake them up with food when the sun goes down, they don’t do as good of a job and people who eat late are statistically heavier and sleep poorly.

The same is true of skipping sleep on the weekends to socialize or consuming more calories in the second half of the day. Researchers found that doing this wrecks our performance and digestion until we get back on rhythm. Athletes in particular are especially aware of this as it affects their income (as it does our office work, whether we know it or not).

Although we still don’t know all the ways sunlight affects organ performance, we do know that being active and outside more during the day leads to better sleep, which leads to better immunity, decisions, and ultimate health the very next day.

So long as we stay in rhythm, our performance and enjoyment of life increases. Talk about free medicine!