The circadian rhythm is the drumbeat that keeps our bodies functioning properly. It dictates the timing of natural processes to produce a highly efficient, healthy body.
In our first post of this series, we discussed what can happen when the circadian rhythm malfunctions or loses track of time. Why does it seem so easy to get “off track” and experience dysfunction in our once-perfect rhythms?
Here we will discuss the rhythm and its drum leader, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), in more detail. This will help us understand how a dysfunctional circadian rhythm can be reigned back in with biohacks (we will outline the four biohacks in our final post of this series).
The Role of the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus
No. Suprachiasmatic nucleus is not a lyric from a Mary Poppins song. It holds the primary circadian “clock” and sits in the hypothalamus behind your eyes. Its positioning helps train and synchronize your circadian rhythm, as special ganglion cells transmit light to the SCN.
The SCN does the hard work of translating the amount of light being received and telling the pineal gland when it is appropriate to release melatonin. This gland secretes melatonin in larger quantities at night and in almost undetectable amounts during the day.
The SCN plays the role of master clock to all other circadian “clocks” in the body. Gaining control and appropriate regulation of the suprachiasmatic nucleus could offer the ability to impact a large portion of the human epigenome.
The Effect of the SCN On an Appropriate Circadian Rhythm
The SCN interacts with many different parts of the brain and body, including other “clocks” that regulate individual processes (known as peripheral oscillators). It is not the circadian rhythm, but these oscillators that help sync the various physiological aspects that are impacted by the rhythm:
- Immune system
- Body temperature
If the SCN is destroyed or disrupted, the synchronous processes of the human body become misaligned and disorders evolve. The disorders that arise can range from jet lag to obesity to cancerous growth.
The SCN plays a vital role in the efficiency of the natural processes that impact our health and well-being. As we can see, disruptions to the SCN and circadian rhythm can be detrimental and cause myriad problems throughout your body and lifestyle. Fortunately, once we have identified the disturbance, we can begin to work on a solution.
For those of you who feel like your sleep is off, your diets never work, or something just doesn’t feel right - it is important to remember the encouragement from our first post about the circadian rhythm. There are ways to biohack your circadian rhythm and get your internal clock functioning in a way that supports your overall health.
Look forward to our final post on the circadian rhythm: Biohacking the Beat - Taking Your Rhythm Back. We will discover the four biohacks that the Boulder Longevity Institute has determined might help get your circadian rhythm functioning appropriately again, returning your body to being the efficient machine it is designed to be.
Get Your Rhythm Back
Sluggish? Never sleep enough? Always feel like a nap would be life-changing? Seemingly unable to lose weight or gain muscle?
These are all reasons you might consider getting help with your circadian rhythm. Identifying and correcting whatever is “keeping you up at night” is vital to gaining control of your health.
If you're serious about giving your rhythm the reset, check out our custom created Circadian Reset Package composed of key ingredients to keep your internal clock ticking.
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