Sleep can change your health! For decades, researchers have been studying the role for circadian rhythm to help foster healthy aging. In our body, sleep regulates all aspects of our health from heart rate, blood pressure to hormone release, immune health, and even our weight.1
The health benefits of “blissful sleep” are profound. Studies show that aging itself produces dysregulation of circadian rhythm, increasing our risk of degenerative age-related diseases. What most people don’t know is sleep is an important component of your immune system.
When your body has unhealthy clocks, your immune system can be compromised. It’s a double whammy! Lack of sleep contributes to health issues such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and more.2-3
Like many people, you’ve probably heard of blissful sleep, and you may have an idea of what they’re all about — something to do with sleep and nighttime, right? Well, that’s a big part of it… but there’s actually much, much more.
In fact, blissful sleep plays an important role in a wide array of bodily functions — from heart rate to immune health.
Blissful sleep is all about the allowing your body to synchronize the circadian rhythms and your health. Circadian rhythms are 24–hour daily patterns of functions and behaviors, such as sleep, heart rate and blood pressure, body temperature, hormone levels, and metabolism. These rhythms are produced and regulated by an internal timekeeping system. There’s one central clock in our brain and many peripheral clocks throughout our body.
The central clock regulates healthy sleep/wake cycles, which are vital to maintaining our overall
health and wellness. The natural day-light cycle sets the central clock’s rhythm. In turn, the central clock synchronizes the rhythms of all the peripheral clocks.
Peripheral clocks are encoded in the DNA of almost every cell in your body — these are your circadian clock genes. Throughout a 24-hour cycle, the peripheral clocks establish a rhythmic ebb and flow that — when working properly — helps your body function for optimal health.
The peripheral clocks help regulate:
- Cell cycle and growth
- Cholesterol metabolism
- Immune response
- Fatty acid production
- Sugar metabolism
Healthy clocks maintain the timing of essential processes, including sleep/wake cycles relative to light, liver function, blood pressure, and several behaviors such as learning, reward, and neurogenesis. When your body experiences blissful sleep, your clocks stay healthy, and all of your cells and organs work together to keep you and your body running smoothly.
But aging — especially those over 50, your lifestyle and environment, and clock gene mutations can disrupt this process. The resulting unhealthy clocks can contribute to health issues such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and more.4
Be on the lookout for these signs — they could be telling you that it’s time to reset your body’s clocks.
- You’re sluggish in the late morning or early afternoon. That’s the period when you should be alert, so if you’re having trouble getting going, it could be a sign of a disrupted clock.
- You’re a “night owl.” Humans are supposed to be preparing for sleep when the sun goes down, so if you have lots of energy at night, that could mean your clock is disrupted.
- You have insomnia or any other sleep cycle problems.
- You do shift work.
If you have any of these symptoms or you are obese and/or have diabetes or other metabolic
issues, there’s a good chance your body’s clocks need to be reset.
Fortunately, there’s a way to achieve blissful sleep — and restore your healthy circadian rhythms!
Remember how the central clock is the part that manages essential life functions? This central clock resides in a tiny part of the brain’s hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. That’s a mouthful, so we can just call it SCN.
The SCN works with the hormone melatonin to help the central clock properly regulate sleep/wake cycles and coordinate with the peripheral clocks for whole-body health.
But here’s the problem: our natural melatonin levels decrease significantly as we age.
Since melatonin supports circadian sleep patterns — and since we know our melatonin levels decrease as we age — it makes sense to replace your natural supply of melatonin with a supplement.
From aging to lifestyle, a variety of factors can affect our body’s ability to achieve blissful sleep, disrupting our circadian rhythms and impacting whole–body health. Fortunately, there is a simple way to get your clocks back on schedule — supplementing melatonin levels. By helping your body to achieve blissful sleep, you’ll restore your body’s healthy circadian rhythms for optimal health and wellness!
- Albrecht U. Timing to perfection: the biology of central and peripheral circadian clocks. Neuron. 2012;74(2):246-60.
- A Evans M. Bioavailability of citrus polymethoxylated flavones and their biological role in metabolic syndrome and hyperlipidemia. 2012.
- He B, Nohara K, Park N, et al. The Small Molecule Nobiletin Targets the Molecular Oscillator to Enhance Circadian Rhythms and Protect against Metabolic Syndrome. Cell Metab. 2016;23(4):610-21.
- Rodella LF, Favero G, Rossini C, et al. Aging and vascular dysfunction: beneficial melatonin effects. Age (Dordr). 2013;35(1):103-15.