From the top down: Organ systems influenced by disrupted circadian rhythms
The impacts of circadian rhythms on biological systems is wide ranging.
Below is just a tiny sampling of the situations that occur when shifted rhythms result. These shifts can be caused by:
- a temporary act like changing the clocks
- working night shifts or odd hours
- medical conditions, including sleep disorders
- medications which may mess with one’s sleep-wake drive
Ultimately, frequent disruptions to one’s rhythms will lead to problems with chronic illness and a reduced quality of life. They should not be dismissed, but tended to, which may even mean actively working to reset these rhythms.
This includes all of the brain matter and nerves in the body as well as the spinal cord. The nervous system exists as a two-way communicator between the brain and the body.
♦ ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
MAR 13, 2015 || Experimental & Molecular Medicine
Sleep, circadian rhythms, and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer Disease
MAR 10 || Our Crazy Adventures in AutismLand
Surviving the Daylight Savings Time Change with Autism
APR 30, 2016 || Sleep Science via Science Direct
The relationship between epilepsy, sleep disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children: A review of the literature
MAR 14 || Neurology
Chronobiology differs between men and women with cluster headache, clinical phenotype does not (abstract)
♦ HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE
OCT 7, 2014 || HDBuzz
Melatonin alterations in Huntington’s disease help explain trouble with sleep
MAR 25, 2013 || HDBuzz
Simple rules for a good night’s sleep in Huntington’s disease
♦ MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH & MOOD DISORDERS
DEC 4, 2016 || Quartz
Pulling an all-nighter could be a temporary fix for depression
APR 13, 2013 || Psychology Today
When The Brain’s Biological Clock Goes Haywire
MAR 16 || Medical News Bulletin
To Go to Sleep, Parkinson’s Patients May Need to Turn the Light On
SEPT 13, 2016 || NIUME: Science
Blue Glasses and Dyskinesia Control in Parkinson’s Disease?
♦ TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
This includes the heart and all of the blood vessels which transport blood to every part of the body.
DEC 12, 2016 || Knowridge Science Report
With a broken circadian clock, even a low-salt diet can raise blood pressure and promote disease
FEB 29, 2016 || MedicineNet
Daylight Saving Time Tied to Brief Spike in Stroke Risk
This includes the lungs and airways which facilitate breathing, which is an important function because it allows for the critical exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide.
OCT 25, 2016 || Sleep Review
Blast of Thin Air Can Reset Circadian Clocks
This includes the gut microbiome and all the factors residing in the bloodstream and tissues which work to heal and repair damage and respond to viruses, bacteria, and other unwelcomed microorganisms in the body.
♦ CROHN’S DISEASE
MAY 21, 2014 || PLOS One
Circadian Disorganization Alters Intestinal Microbiota
♦ IMMUNE SYSTEM DYSFUNCTION
MAR 2 || Mastopedia
Circadian Clocks and Immune Functions (abstract)
FEB 27 || Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology
Air Travel, Circadian Rhythms/Hormones, and Autoimmunity (abstract)
♦ MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
FEB 13, 2013 || Journal of Research in Medical Sciences
Circadian rhythm sleep disorders in patients with multiple sclerosis and its association with fatigue: A case-control study
JUN 7, 2014 || Renal Failure
Melatonin secretion is impaired in women with preeclampsia and an abnormal circadian blood pressure rhythm (abstract)
MAR 17 || The British Journal of Dermatology
A cross-sectional survey of the nature and correlates of sleep disturbance in people with psoriasis
♦ RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
AUG 3, 2016 || FASEB Journal
The circadian clock regulates inflammatory arthritis
This system helps the body to keep blood chemistry in balance as well as to facilitate metabolism.
(PSSST! Don’t miss our article from March 9, “Survival tips for diabetics during the transition to daylight saving time“)
MAR 13 || Diabetes.co.uk
Men with prediabetes are more carbohydrate sensitive in the evening, study finds
JAN 2 || EndocrineWeb
Circadian Rhythm Disruptions May Alter Sleep, Propelling Some People Towards Diabetes
AUG 3, 2016 || Sound Sleep Health
People with sleep apnea: Are you diabetic?
♦ LIVER FUNCTION
JAN 21 || WRVO Public Media
Liver health impacted by circadian clock
OCT 28, 2016 || Chronoceuticals
Circadian clock in the liver found to regulate hunger and metabolism
MAR 15 || The JAMA Network
Resetting the Circadian Clock Might Boost Metabolic Health
NOV 43, 2016 || Newswise
A Functioning Circadian Clock May Help Maximize Weight Loss Following Bariatric Surgery
DEC 13, 2016 || Sound Sleep Health
When sleep loss leads to weight gain
Digestive and excretory systems
This includes everything from the mouth to the rectum which is involved in the ingesting of substances (food, water, medications). The esophagus, stomach, and bowel are major players. These are processed through a complex system which draws out nutrients and expels the remainder.
MAR 13 || Very Well
Why IBD Affects Your Sleep
JUL 12, 2016 || CHEST
GERD and sleep disorders often go hand in glove
APR 20, 2016 || Sound Sleep Health
Peristalsis and Sleep: How both work in tandem with circadian rhythms
APR 14, 2016 || Sound Sleep Health
Food and Sleep: What and when we eat matters to the body clock
This part of the body serves to excrete wastes and excessive fluids via the bladder.
MAR 4 || SleepApnea.org
Research: Sleep problems impact kidney health
APR 22, 2016 || Chronobiology
How the Circadian Rhythm of Your Kidneys Affects You
APR 22, 2016 || Investigative and Clinical Urology
Nocturia: The circadian voiding disorder
This includes male and female sex organs and fertility processes.
MAR 10 || Chronobiology
Spring Forward Found to Affect IVF Success Rates
MAR 10 || Fertility Tips
Daylight Saving Time and Its Impact on Miscarriage Rates
FEB 24 || Men’s Journal
How Poor Sleep Affects Your Sex Drive
NOV 20, 2016 || Latin Post
Inadequate or excessive sleeping may cause men to reduce chances of impregnating their partners, study finds
Cancer can strike any system in the body, so it is included here because of its unique relationship to chronotherapy and circadian regulation.
FEB 14 || Knowridge Science Report
Is hormone melatonin the link between sleep and breast cancer?
JAN 22 || iTech Post
Sleep Problems And Cancer May Be Lessened By Turning Lights Off
DEC 21, 2016 || Sleep Review
How Circadian Clocks May Influence Cancer Pathway
NOV 30, 2016 || Sleep Review
Jet Lag, Obesity Share Similar Pathways to Liver Cancer
NOV 17, 2016 || Reuters
Walking may improve the sleep of lung cancer patients
If, during the recent clock change to Daylight Saving Time, you wondered whether you might need to be paying more attention to your own biological rhythms, ask yourself this: What would your organs want you to do? What happens if you don’t reset your rhythms? Therein lies your answer.
Should you wish to reset your rhythms, there are many options, including the relatively painless experience known as camping, cognitive behavioral therapy, sleep restriction therapy, and more. Or you could jump on the bandwagon and try to push for the end of the fall and spring time changes.