Circadian Effect on Metabolism and Obesity


Most of us have heard that a ‘high metabolism’ helps keep the pounds off. There is a great deal of validity to this widely-held belief. Science repeatedly has demonstrated a correlation between certain metabolic processes and body weight. Slim and trim often go hand in hand with a properly-regulated metabolism.

Shed Pounds as You Sleep

Sleep duration and weight control are interrelated. When you get sufficient shut-eye, your body activates specific metabolic processes that contribute to healthful weight regulation.

Two key players in the metabolic weight-control process are a pair of hormones – leptin and ghrelin. Adequate sleep duration helps maintain proper levels of both, a balance that contributes significantly to a healthful body weight. Problems arise, however, when sleep is curtailed, throwing these vital hormonal levels way out of balance.

Numerous studies have shown that shortened sleep causes a significant drop in leptin levels and a concomitant surge in ghrelin levels. More importantly, researchers have discovered a clear connection between this hormonal imbalance and soaring appetites — particularly for high-carbohydrate foods. You already know what carb-heavy foods can do. Unless you’re burning those carbs, you’re probably packing them on as excess body baggage.

More Sleep, Smaller Waist

Clearly, that which shortens sleep can expand the waistline. So it stands to reason that proper sleep duration should be the goal of every weight-conscious individual. Fortunately, research is zeroing in on many causes of abbreviated shuteye. Among the most prominent of these causes is circadian disruption or circadian rhythm disorder – interference with circadian rhythms, our natural biological timekeepers. These rhythms regulate many biochemical processes, including those that contribute to proper sleep patterns. When the circadian timetable is disrupted, so is sleep.

Known Sleep Robber

A growing number of scientists believe that one of the prime disrupters of circadian rhythms is the increasingly unnatural day-night cycle most of us experience. One of the prime culprits in this alarming scenario is your everyday incandescent light bulb. ‘But it looks so innocent,’ you’re thinking. It isn’t. Illumination from this ubiquitous light source falls predominantly in the blue ‘daylight’ range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Blue daylight also comes to us courtesy of the sun. Great for daytime when we need to be fresh, awake, and alert. Not so good when it’s engulfing us in the evening hours, the time that wakefulness is the last thing our sleep-craving bodies need. Indeed, that round little bulb indirectly could be helping us dawn a similar shape.

The Low-Carb Light Bulb

The good news is, weight-conscious people needn’t resort to reading by candlelight. Biologically-correct LED lightbulbs, from Lighting Science create the crucial balance of day-night illumination required for optimal circadian functioning and normal sleep regulation. Better sleep, of course, helps maintain the proper hormonal balance needed to keep carb-craving appetites under control. Sleep better, feel better, look better. One of the many advantages of precision-engineered LED lightbulbs from Lighting Science.

Source: Hia N. Karatsoreos Melatonin, Effects of Circadian Disruption on Mental and Physical Health. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep

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