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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Circadian misalignment helps explain higher risk for cardiovascular disease

The body likes a rhythm and works better with predictability. Indeed, in the laboratory, when cells are removed from our body, they may maintain the same circadian rhythm for up to 3 days before losing it. When the circadian rhythm is off, physiologic consequences may occur. An analogy is that of over sleeping your alarm in the morning. This may have the sequelae of skipping breakfast. You arrive to work a few minutes late. The morning seems hectic and rushed. You decide to work through or take a short lunch in order to catch up. You end up leaving a bit late from work and consequently you missed closing time for the dry cleaners and were not able to pick up a suit needed for tomorrow's business meeting. The body's function works similarly. When the circadian clock is off, physiologic consequences may occur--some functions are skipped, performed incompletely, are stressed in a catch up mode or are delayed to a future time when the stress on the system is less. Be mindful to differentiate what your body needs versus what you prefer.
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

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