A sleepless night and then snooze your alarm clock at least five times before dragging yourself out of bed. You get through the morning with coffee, until the well-known afternoon dip, with the eventual revival of your energy level in the evening. A clear case of a disturbed biorhythm. In this blog we tell you more about how our biological clock works and we give six tips to restore your biorhythm.
Did you know that all processes in our body are controlled from one central point? This is done by a kind of conductor who is responsible for the various rhythms in the body. It ensures that all cells, tissues, and organs are active at the right time. Our biological clock takes care of this control. Recent research even indicates that different cells are more active at certain times of the day than others.
How does your biorhythm work?
Our body has many different rhythms that are all controlled by this biological clock. One of these rhythms is the circadian rhythm, or biorhythm.
This rhythm involves physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow approximately a 24-hour cycle. These changes can affect our sleep-wake rhythm, hormone release, body temperature and other important bodily functions. Light and darkness play a central role in this. Complaints in these areas are increasingly related to disruption of the circadian rhythm. Various influences can disrupt these processes. That is why it is so important to understand how the biological clock works.
The biological clock consists of different parts that interact with each other: the clock genes, the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) and the epiphysis. All cells of our body contain so-called clock genes that determine which genes are read in a cell. These clock genes coordinate the activity of all processes in our body, such as blood pressure and clotting, hormonal cycles, body temperature, circulation of lymphocytes, etc. The clock genes work according to the 24-hour rhythm that requires a general regulator.
A group of cells in the hypothalamus is responsible for controlling this circadian rhythm. This SCN, or our “master clock”, is located exactly above the optic nerves and reacts to the light and dark. For example, this SCN sends signals to other parts of the brain, including stimulating the production of our sleep hormone melatonin by the epiphysis (pineal gland). This organ is sensitive to light. When there is less light, such as during the night, the SCN signals the epiphysis to produce more melatonin, which makes us sleepy. An advanced system with significant impact on our well-being!
The importance of a good night’s sleep
A long-term or even chronic disturbance of the biorhythm can lead to various health problems. Symptoms of such a disturbance are concentration problems, intestinal complaints, lack of energy and a disturbed sleep pattern. An important pillar to support the biorhythm is therefore a good night’s sleep. But why is that so important?
This has everything to do with the fact that growth and recovery takes place at night. This is related to the hormones that have their own cycle in the blood: cortisol, noradrenaline and serotonin, which experience their peak in the morning. In contrast, the hormone melatonin only comes into play in the evening. Growth hormones are only released into the blood at night and contribute to:
• Rebuilding the cells of the body
• Length growth of the muscles
• Muscle development
Chronic complaints can occur due to a constant shortage of good quality sleep. This is probably due to a lack of serotonin. However, this is a typical chicken-egg story, which makes it difficult to determine the exact cause of these complaints. A shortage of serotonin results in less melatonin availability, which makes sleeping more difficult.
The production of prolactin in turn is dependent on melatonin and mainly takes place a few hours after the start of melatonin production. Prolactin plays an important role in supporting the immune system and the regulation of appetite. When the night’s sleep is disturbed, there is more prolactin production during the day than at night. The amount of NK cells and T cells decrease, causing the immune system to function less well. As mentioned, chronic sleep deprivation can cause various (chronic) complaints. Think of depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and muscle cramps.
A good night’s sleep is therefore essential for the functioning of the human body. Recovery of muscle tissue, the removal of acid residues and the removal of heavy metals preferably takes place at night. It is therefore best to take the right vitamins and minerals that are tailored to this in the evening.
Restore your biorhythm
Now you know how the biorhythm works and the influence it has on our entire system. With this knowledge as a starting point, it is advisable to restore a disturbed biorhythm. This is possible with the following tips:
1. Support your system with daytime nutrients
2. Support your system with nutrients for the night
3. Get outdoors
4. Maintain an Evening Routine
5. Create peace, purity and regularity
6. Feed instead of fill
Tip 1: Support your system with nutrients for the day
Nutrients all have a specific effect on our body. Using certain nutrients in the morning can therefore provide your system with the necessary support during the day.
• Energy – Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and C, biotin, calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese contribute to normal energy management. Folic acid, iron, magnesium, vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and C help to reduce fatigue. Ashwagandha supports the energy level.
• Mental – Vitamins B1, B3, B12 and C, biotin and magnesium contribute to normal psychological function, memory and learning performance.
• Nervous system – Biotin, potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and C have a positive influence on the functioning of the nervous system. Calcium, potassium, and magnesium play a role in the impulse transmission of the nerve cells.
• Muscles and Connective Tissue – Calcium, magnesium and potassium play a role in maintaining strong muscles. Copper is good for the connective tissue in the skin
• Blood sugar and blood pressure – Chromium helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. Potassium supports normal blood pressure.
• Heart and vessels – Vitamin B1 support the heart. Vitamin C is important for blood vessels. OPC supports the health of the heart and blood vessels.
• Anti-oxidation – Vitamin B2, copper and manganese help protect cells from oxidative damage. OPC has an antioxidant effect and protects healthy cells and tissues against free radicals.
Tip 2: Support your system with nutrients for the night
Of course, what applies to nutrients during the day also applies to the night. The following nutrients contribute to the nocturnal processes:
• Protection – Vitamin E protects healthy cells and tissues. Vitamin C helps maintain the activity of vitamin E. Vitamin C contributes to normal psychological function.
• Relaxation and Sleep – Melatonin aids in falling asleep faster. Passionflower helps to induce rest and sleep.
• Balance – Magnesium is beneficial for a good mental balance. Zinc contributes to normal hormone balance.
• Structure – Vitamin A contributes to normal cell differentiation. Calcium and vitamin D contribute to the production of cells and tissues. Iron plays a role in tissue growth and development.
• Cleansing – Milk Thistle stimulates digestion and supports the cleansing effect of the liver, bile and heart.
• Bones and cartilage – Calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins C, D3 and K2 are important for the composition of the bones. Vitamin C is important for cartilage and the formation of collagen, which is important for bones.
• Vision and mucous membranes – Vitamin A contribute to the maintenance of normal vision. It is also good for maintaining the normal structure and function of the mucous membranes.
• Immune system – Vitamin E helps the body’s immune system. Iron, zinc, copper, and selenium have a positive influence on the immune system. Vitamin C is good for the resistance during and after physical exertion.
• Skin – Vitamin A, zinc and iodine help maintain healthy skin.
The production of melatonin is necessary for a good night’s sleep. There is a special role for the substance 5-HTP, the precursor of serotonin. This is how our body converts serotonin into melatonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood. It promotes mental resilience and is used for a good mood. However, some people make less melatonin, for example due to disturbances in the neurotransmitters, causing problems falling asleep and staying asleep. Melatonin is also used as a separate supplement for sleeping problems, but there is also a way to make the process more natural.
5-Hydroxytryptophan (in short 5-HTP) is a metabolic intermediate and indispensable for the production of serotonin. This active ingredient from Griﬀonia extract therefore promotes the production of both serotonin and melatonin. It can also prolong REM sleep and thus promote sleep. By using 5-HTP in addition to the right vitamins and minerals for the night, you create a healthy nightcap!
Tip 3: Look for the fresh air
The fresh air is important for our health due to many factors. Especially in the winter months we tend to stay nice and warm inside. However, this is not conducive to our energy level, mood and day-night rhythm. Daylight helps us to maintain a natural rhythm. Think, for example, of the start of summer and winter time, where we must get used to the new times. Being outside more at those moments will help you get into the new rhythm more easily. Preferably also take the time for a brisk walk or nice bike ride.
Tip 4: Maintain an evening routine
How we prepare ourselves for bed naturally affects how we feel when we wake up. An evening routine can therefore help you wake up in a good mood and relaxed. Consider applying the following points:
• Take a warm shower
• Read 30 minutes from your favorite book
• Do a (guided) meditation
• Take a lovely bath with epsom/magnesium salt
• Write down three things that went well or are grateful for today
• Make your to-do list for tomorrow so that these points can be remembered
• Dim the lighting and light a candle to start the natural melatonin production
• Turn off the TV and mobile an hour before going to sleep
• Drink a cup of herbal tea with ingredients such as lavender, chamomile or lemon balm
Tip 5: Create peace, cleanliness, and regularity
A disturbance of the biorhythm can be restored or even prevented if you apply more regularity in daily life. This is of course not always feasible, such as during night shifts or because of (regular) jet lags. The start of summer and winter time often also a significant impact on our biological clock.
However, you can try to apply a consistent routine as much as possible. Think of going to bed and getting up at fixed times, even on weekends. But also fixed sports times, preferably at the beginning of the day when you have the most energy. The hormone cortisol is highest in the morning and ensures that we can be active. The production of cortisol depends on the daylight. So, when you wake up, immediately open the curtains, and let the daylight provide you with the necessary energy!
Tip 6: Feed instead of filling
A healthy diet also contributes to peace in your system. By feeding your body with nutrient-rich food, instead of filling it with “empty” foods, you support the body in its functions. It is also good to take a closer look at your eating moments. Fewer eating moments give your digestive system peace of mind, so that it does not have to work hard all the time. Intermittent fasting can help with this, for example.
We can control that conductor in our brains in such a way that the orchestra in our body knows how to play the most beautiful music. So, support your system with nutrients for day and night. Make sure there is enough outside air, a nice evening routine, rest, cleanliness and regularity and a healthy diet. With these tips, you at least have the right tools at your disposal to restore your biorhythm and get through your days whistling again!
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- – Taheri, M., Irandoust, K., Seghatoleslami, A., & Rezaei, M. (2018). The effect of yoga practice based on biorhythms theory on balance and selective attention of the elderly women. Iranian Journal of Ageing, 13(3), 312-323.
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