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Biorhythm of sleep and wakefulness - how to destroy and how to adjust again

Biorhythm wakefulness and sleep, professionally, called circadian rhythm, and it is subject to much more bodily processes than just sleep and wakefulness. The word circadian means "lasting around 24 hours" (circa around ≈, ≈ dies day). It is in the interest of our health, that this rhythm was in accordance with civil time. Today it is very easy to detune the rhythm of artificial light that became one of the many factors today's toxic environment. How to adjust it back, it was the subject of lengthy discussions in seminars Department of Physiology UK, whose content is the basis of this story.

Practical guidance on how internal clocks shift back

In people with lost circadian rhythm is more likely to suffer from haste and anxiety of unfinished tasks, so that regardless of them not start the theory, but a clear, practical instructions how to re-adjust the rhythm of sleep and wakefulness, which began to "bump" towards delays in falling asleep and waking up:

  1. Find out what time to show your inner clock. It's not hard. Just watch where you start to get to sleep. This is the moment when the pineal gland led internal clock signals released into the bloodstream hormone night, melatonin. Subjective midnight occurs about 4 hours later.
  2. Adjust the clock to 2.5 hours after subjective midnight. Or in other words, to 6.5 hours after it started taking sleeping.
  3. Turn out and go to sleep. When you start taking sleeping, so after the framing for the alarm, you should turn off all lights when you have gone out earlier and go to sleep.
  4. After laying down already, do not switch. Until the alarm rings, you have to avoid white light, even if you have trouble sleeping. This is quite an absolute requirement. Permissible only faint red or yellow-red light, no brighter a small fire. White light shall shine for longer than 30 seconds.
  5. When the alarm goes off, turn on white light and 3 minutes to watch it. Not close, of course, from a safe distance. This is the custom step that shifts the circadian clock.
  6. Turn off the light and, if possible, continue to sleep until the natural awakening.
  7. Internal clock should shift about 15 minutes ago. The following day would be a natural sleepiness and morning awakening should arrive 15 minutes early.
  8. In the following days, repeat the process until the desired reverse shift.

Other notes:

  • Timekeeping internal clock by a sudden feeling of sleepiness requires that we previously did not use any sedative or stimulant substances that induce drowsiness or kept off. Feeling sleepy is merely an indicator of pineal melatonin influx into the blood.
  • If we are accustomed to taking caffeine (coffee, black / green tea, energy drinks, etc.) and regain a healthy sleep cycle is a chapter in itself - when suddenly a total cessation of caffeine will we will want to sleep all the time, and for several days. During this time you can not figure out what time our natural circadian clock show.
  • To adjust the internal clock is important that the retina sees the white light and the darkness, not that if the brain is in a state of sleep or wakefulness. Evening use of sedatives ie internal time itself does not move. This might be developed, only that when we have foisted upon sleep eyes closed, into the retina receives less light.
  • The action of drugs such as sedatives, caffeine and others for circadian rhythms do not properly rehearsed. So far, I only said that the exception to the rule that sedatives biorhythm not moved directly may be melatonin itself, which is commercially offered as atypical sedative and antioxidant.

For more information about the rhythm of sleep and wakefulness

Synchronization scheme epiphysis by light signals from the retina (rat brain). Adapted from Moore1996ncp.
Synchronization scheme epiphysis by light signals from the retina (rat brain). Adapted from Moore1996ncp .

Circadian rhythm takes into account the white light

Circadian rhythm resides in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus (nucleus suprachiasmaticus SCN) and receives information about light through ancient retinohypotalamickou orbit (ie. Going from the retina to the hypothalamus). This track is a small volume, it consists of only a few glutamate fibers. But it has a big impact on our lives and has such amenities, it is as if he had a personal computer in addition to regular keyboards have a special keypad with ancient Greek numerals only for adjusting the system time. Light signal does not come from cone or rod, but infrequent population of retinal ganglion cells. They are not used to detect light rhodopsin rods or one of three photopsin suppositories, but have for their exclusive use fifth photosensitive pigment melanopsin. (few other details, can learn the syllabus Biophysics from Helena UHROVÁ available from ICT , where melanopsin, however, does not mention). This pigment is particularly sensitive in the blue part of the light, so it responds well to the sun, while it too light a fire activates. But it activates the light bulbs, fluorescent lamps, screens and white or blue LEDs.

Melatonin - a hormone circadian rhythm, hormone or night

Feeling sleepy, and other bodily processes related to the outpouring of melatonin from the pineal gland (epiphysis, pineal corpus). Once upon a time pineal gland itself acted as a third eye - had light sensitive cells to adjust the internal clock of sunlight penetrating through a thin translucent skull to the brain. So it's still at neještěrky tuatara and some birds. In our giant head to the pineal gland but no light penetrates the skull and it therefore must receive information on time of day on the other hand, tortuous circuit emanating from the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus ( Moore1996ncp , see chart at right).

At night-time pineal gland produces the hormone melatonin, and in turn controls sleep patterns in the rest of the body, including the majority of brain cells, for whom it is much more practical than that for such a fun pull cables from the SCN. Fun but ceases when the morning due to sleepiness oversleeping test or meeting with the boss at work. Proper adjustment of circadian clock is also important to us to get up early even if could afford to 8-hour sleep, which is one of the fundamental rules of the fight against obesity. (He is the morning the body produces leptin, so that when sleep takes away the morning, then we are hungrier during the day.)

The rhythm of sleep and wakefulness - how to destroy it

It follows from the above that one of the easiest things you can do for your physical and mental health is to stop destroying the circadian rhythm. He easiest way to destroy so that we are working late into the night when a white artificial lighting, which shifts the rhythm of sleep and waking more and more forward, toward morning. In the worst case, the morning wake up in a room without natural light, so we do not even compensate for the morning sun, which would help to partly remedy the shift caused by artificial night lighting. Soon there that evening, we wanted to sleep later and wake up later in the morning. After two weeks of such a regime can lead to a situation that sleeping takes us behind the white morning and wake up at three in the afternoon (I speak from experience). In the same situation we can get even by air to the east - perhaps to Australia. During the flight in the opposite direction is a relative shift of biorhythms of course reversed.

The rhythm of sleep and wakefulness - how to keep it

The main rule to maintain a stable cycle of sleep and wakefulness is 8 hours before the scheduled morning awakening turned off. And even if we do not want to sleep. We do not have to interrupt work or entertainment, we do not go to sleep and do not take hypnotics, but we from where we are to remove all artificial light. Short light (even just 3 minutes) biorhythm destroy us just like we shine an hour. Specifically, short light completely cancels the effect of darkness, which we had struggled to maintain. Permissible only faint red or yellow-red light with no blue and white folders. When darkness are working with a computer, adjust the colors in the style of red-black terminal. Lighting white light must be less 30 seconds, the shorter the better. In terms of biorhythms would be the best night of red lamps for room, toilet and bathroom. The advantage is when the room where we sleep, has morning sun. I therefore have bedrooms have windows to the east. That evening, when we use only light in the colors of fire, which is our internal early man accustomed, we maintain circadian rhythmicity normal. But when our rhythm deviates, we must actively move it back.

Yes, even harsh wake-up call method works, but ...

Rhythm awakening can force method reveille and, as it happens with most people employed in the day shift with fixed working hours. Just no matter where we went to sleep, set the alarm clock every day early in the morning at a predetermined time and if we did not sleep enough, we will be in the evening so tired that oversleeping as Sleeping Beauty just as we enter the bedroom. The problem is that this method can be operated soundly again only in compliance with rule switching off 8 hours before waking. Otherwise we get into a situation that although we have a regular routine of awakening, but at the cost of permanent sleep deprivation. We come yet for the most precious morning sleep when the brain relaxes leptin. Lack of leptin causes then we are hungrier during the day, not to mention about drowsiness. Once again, "hardness" must be applied at bedtime. If you follow (or are forced to follow), when waking violence will not be needed.

The rhythm of sleep and wakefulness can adjust light signals, but it has great inertia

Shining ago subjective midnight shifts internal circadian rhythm forward light after midnight subjective turn back. The maximum attainable daily shift hours are human, if I remember, somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes. It is not important not so much the length or intensity of light (if not too weak or less than 1 minute), but also the time when they appear. If experimental animals live mode when it turns off at 6 pm on and off at 6am and short light up at 5:30 cause a small shift in circadian hours ago (say about 5 minutes), short light up at 5:00 cause a greater shift (say, 10 minutes), and so forth - the closer the morning light signal midnight, the greater the shift will cause. Lighting causes analogous to midnight shift hours ahead, the greater the later the light appears. Lighting exactly at midnight (in the range of about 1 hour) does not cause any shift.

In doing so, the question is not if the light is short or long. Our internal clock is able to strong light at night to give only one interpretation - that the sun is above the horizon. And when one of the sun at 11 above the horizon in the evening for 3 minutes, so there according to our thinking logically clockwork was even throughout the previous 5 hours. And when the lights artificial light for 3 minutes at 3 am, so our hands clockwork adjusted for full step back (ie 15-30 minutes), when today's crazy sun came out so soon. Lighting for only a few seconds does not matter, because it can be a lightning storm. A larger shift than 15-30 minutes a day our internal clock is not able - with intercontinental flights or long-term ponocováním under artificial white light does not count.

| 19.12.2010