Biological rhythms are defined as the biochemical, physiological and behavioral responses of living beings to physical effects in the external world.
One of these biological rhythms is called circadian rhythm.
The circadian rhythm is a biological cycle that lasts approximately 24 hours and includes changes in sleep and wakefulness. In general, a healthy adult individual completes 24 hours with 16 hours of wakefulness and 8 hours of sleep.
The circadian rhythm is also responsible for the performance of the heart, growth hormone, neurotransmitter secretion and various hormone secretion such as cortisol.
Disruption of the circadian rhythm, which affects many hormones and thus the system, can trigger disorders such as obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and hypertension.
Circadian Rhythm and Nutrition:
Circadian rhythm and nutrition affect each other. Especially for individuals working in shifts, both sleep and feeding hours can disrupt the circadian rhythm.
Disruption of the rhythm leads to a decrease in the amount of sleep and changes in the appetite mechanism.
As a result, an increase in body fat mass can be observed in these individuals with the wrong energy intake at the wrong time.
According to a study, how poor quality and insufficient sleep affects nutrition is summarized as follows:
-Increased consumption of foods and snacks
-Less consumption of vegetables and fruits
-Irregular meal times
Recommendations for Maintaining Circadian Rhythm:
- It is necessary to eat a sufficient and balanced diet and to organize meal times and contents.
*The light emitted from electronic devices affects the circadian rhythm. For this reason, make sure that there are no electronic devices in the room.
*Avoid stress in daily life.
*Foods with high energy content such as chocolate should not be consumed in the evening.
*Individuals experiencing jet-lag should be fed according to the hours of the region they are in and should pay attention to drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
In addition, caffeine and alcohol-containing beverages should be avoided during the journey.
*Individuals working in shifts may have digestive system problems. For this reason, it is recommended to consume fiber foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat instead of white bread and bulgur instead of rice.
Factors Affecting Circadian Rhythm:
Light: The light emitted from electronic devices disrupts the circadian rhythm.
Melatonin: The release of melatonin, known as the sleep hormone, starts at 21:00-22:00 and reaches its peak at 02:00-03:00 at night and it is necessary to be asleep at this time.
Temperature The circadian rhythm is disrupted as the organism is adversely affected by high temperatures.
Jetlag: The time difference has a negative effect on metabolism.
Shift work hours: The person is awake when they should be asleep and this leads to a disruption of the rhythm.