Circadian Rhythm

Your circadian rhythm is set by the oscillation of a core circadian clock. Just like the sun rises and sets every day, you have a daily rhythm inside of you, controlling a lot of your cellular functions.

Researchers have recently discovered just how extremely important your circadian rhythm is to your overall health and wellbeing. Disrupting your circadian rhythm can cause weight gain, mood disorders, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia.

Your genetic variants play a big role in why and how you are susceptible to chronic diseases due to circadian rhythm disruption. Some people are more resilient than others, and you can hack this system to improve your health.

 


Recent articles on Circadian Rhythm Genes:

Melatonin: Key to Health and Longevity- It seems like everything that I’ve written about lately has a common thread: melatonin. When I started weaving together all those melatonin threads, a big picture was revealed. You could say it is a… tapestry of health. Melatonin may actually be the key to...
Blue-blocking Glasses: Why? Which ones?- The biggest overall action you can take for your health, in my opinion, is to optimize your circadian rhythm. Yes, that is a big statement when there are so many other things you can do for your health such as eating organic, lifting weights,...
Bipolar disorder, depression, and circadian clock genes- New research shows that depression and bipolar disorder are linked to changes or disruption in circadian genes. Some people carry genetic variants in the circadian genes that make them more susceptible to circadian disruption.
Heart disease, cancer, diabetes: A gene that ties together the “Big 3”- When it comes to chronic diseases, the Big 3 are heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Heart disease is the number one killer in the US, with cancer a close second. Diabetes numbers are increasing at an alarming rate. I recently was reading several...
Circadian Lifehacks Website: Circadian Rhythm Articles and DIY Tips- Digging into the science and research connecting genetic variants with health for the past four years, I have found a common thread that connected a lot of chronic conditions that affect so many people today. That common thread is that many of the genetic...
Leveraging your gut microbiome to change your gene expression- I thought about titling this article ‘going to the dark side’ but decided that bathroom humor should be left behind…. (get it, behind :-)  Enough of the puns and onto the important science stuff that you can actually apply to your life today. There are...
Are you exhausted by shift work? It could be genetic.- Genetics plays a role in how much shift work impacts you.  While some people may get along well with shift work, others may experience more difficulties with it. A new study found one genetic variant that may shed some light on the topic (pun intended :-).
Early to bed, early to rise – helps with weight loss and diabetes- Meal timing and light at night are modern issues that impact diabetes and obesity risk.
Which genes cause insomnia?- Everyone at some point knows the pain of a sleepless night. For some, though, this is an all too frequent occurrence. A few quick facts: 10% of adults (and 22% of the elderly) have insomnia disorder[ref] Heritability estimates from twin studies show that insomnia...
Changing Your Circadian Gene Expression with Polyphenols- This is a bit of a departure from my usual article. It is a paper that I recently wrote for a class that I’m taking for my Master’s in biology.  Thought I would share it in case anyone is interested… Overview: Resveratrol, EGC/G, grape...
How light at night could double your risk of cancer.- The World Health Organization listed ‘light at night’ as a possible carcinogen in 2007. That is an eye-opening statement for something that affects almost all of us. From streetlights to the lamp in the living room, from accent garden lighting to the glow of...
Circadian Rhythm Connections, Part 2: Weight Loss and Meal Timing- There are five key elements to weight loss from a circadian point of view: Timing of Meals; Light Exposure; Sleep; What to Eat, When; and Genetic Variants.  All of these can come together in our modern world to give you a propensity to gain...
Circadian Rhythm Genes: Mood Disorders- Roosters crowing at the first crack of daylight. Morning glories unfurling their blooms as the sun rises in the sky. Lightning bugs flickering just as dusk falls. Most people intuitively understand that plants respond to sunlight, using photosynthesis to produce energy and store sugar...
Lithium: A mineral that affects mood, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and telomeres- Researchers found that Texas counties with higher levels of lithium in their groundwater had less of an increase in Alzheimer's rates compared with counties that had lower levels of lithium. This isn't a total surprise since previous studies had linked lithium to a decreased risk of dementia, but it is a great confirmation at a large scale population level. 
Genetics of Seasonal Affective Disorder- The Winter Blues… described as a low feeling, generally apathetic, blah, usually accompanied by changes in sleep.  It is fairly common in northern latitudes, affecting almost 10% of some populations. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is characterized by a recurrent depression with a change in...
Weight Loss: Optimizing your diet based on your genes- Diet gurus, talking heads on TV, government food pyramids, and your friend who lost 20 pounds… What do they all have in common?  They all know the perfect diet that will whip you into shape and make you feel good. If that diet doesn’t...
Circadian Rhythms: Genes at the Core of Our Internal Clocks- Circadian rhythms are the natural biological rhythms that shape our biology.  Most people know about the master clock in our brain that keeps us on a wake-sleep cycle over 24 hours.  This is driven by our master “clock’ genes. It turns out that we...
Color TV has made us fat: melatonin, genetics, and light at night- Color TV has made us fat! Nope, not just because of the commercials advertising Taco Bell at night nor the fact that we are laying on our couches watching those commercials.  The flickering blue light that can be seen each evening pouring out of...
PPARG: A genetic variant that can protect against obesity and type-2 diabetes, but only if you eat the right diet.- The PPARG (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma) gene has been associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and risk for type-2 diabetes. This gene is involved in the regulation of fatty acid storage and in glucose metabolism. PPAR-gamma is activated by omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and regulates...