Synch Into Sleep

Is lack of sleep throwing your body off beat?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Think of your body as an orchestra. The maestro is a master clock that lives in your brain. It keeps time by syncing with light and dark. The instruments are tiny clocks in your body. They regulate things like temperature and hormone levels.

You’ve heard this opus before. It’s called the CIRCADIAN RHYTHM. But what happens when the string section falls out of tempo? Cue the jet lag!

Jonathan Johnston and colleagues at the University of Surrey investigated how mealtimes regulate circadian rhythms. They gave healthy male subjects three meals a day for five days. Then they delayed each meal by five hours over the next week!

The researchers didn’t notice any changes in hormone rhythms. But they DID notice a change in the circadian clock that produces sugar. This means that mealtimes can sync your cellular clocks WITHOUT affecting your master clock! Adjusting mealtimes and sleep schedule IN TANDEM may help cure jet lag faster!

You say late-night snack? I say, encore! Maestro, if you please.