New Science Shows How to Look Younger, Slow Aging, Improve Health with 5 Overlooked Habits

New science research shows how circadian rhythms, sleep cycles, and meal times influence how you age.

Person holding a green apple
Learn how circadian rhythms can help keep the doctor away today – Photo by Jony Ariadi

We tend to think that as we age, we’ll look older, muscle mass will deteriorate, and our back will always hurt.

But what if science found a way to hack your biology to prevent or even reverse this?

Learn how five simple habits we overlook can change your life, forever.

What Are Circadian Rhythms?

Circadian rhythms are mental, physical, and behavioral changes that follow 24 hours. 

For example, your sleep cycle is an example of light-related circadian rhythm, as chemicals produced in the absence of light signal the body for rest.

Studies have found that circadian rhythms don’t just regulate sleep or waking, they can affect how you age in the future.

Not only that, many aspects of our life affect circadian rhythms: when you eat, what you eat, exercise and metabolism.

This means that a circadian rhythm that is in disarray tends to show up later in life as more gray hairs, weathered skin, increased wrinkles, and even disease.

How Circadian Rhythms are linked to Health and Life Expectancy

This article is titled Tuning up an aged clock: Circadian clock regulation in metabolism and aging. 

Here’s the link, but it’s also 45 pages, so let’s break down the important bits.

Have a Schedule

Go to bed at the same time. Wake up at the same time. Yes, it really is that simple.

Circadian rhythms run on a schedule, an internal clock.

It receives external feedback, such as light, to determine specific hormones released in the body.

As we age, the circadian clock we all have becomes out of tune so to speak. It becomes harder to regulate on its own.

Having a schedule, especially as you get older, becomes a way to help regulate your circadian rhythm.

This means no electronics before bed, as this can disrupt your internal clock. More on this to come!

When you Eat Matters

It matters as much as what you eat really. 

Your circadian clock system helps you adapt to the environment. Sleep cycles, light cycles, environment everything.

Your body also adapts to your meal cycles, when you eat, and the kinds of foods you eat.

Be consistent with meal times. If you eat at noon every day, your body may experience “meal anticipation.”

This means the body prepares for a meal, potentially causing a hypoglycemic event.

Metabolism influences the circadian clock system.

Exercise, low carb diets, fasting all influence your internal rhythm.

For example, it’s more important to start and stop your fast at set times as opposed to focusing on how long to fast.

Take Supplements at the Right Times

Chrononutrition matters.  

This means the time of the day you take certain supplements or nutrients matters.

Blood sugar supplements, biotin, green tea, and other ingredients that support blood glucose health should be taken later in the day when your own blood sugar may be a bit unbalanced.

On the other hand, your immune system is very active in the morning, so nutrients and supplements that support the immune system should be taken early in the day.

Furthermore, later in the day, the body, in general, is slightly more insulin resistant. This means heavier carb heavy food like ice cream and pizza are harder for the body to process.

The metabolism and digestion tract, linked to circadian rhythms as well, are not primed to process and utilize these meals later in the day.

Light Exposure Affects You More Heavily than You Think

It’s not just blue light that can affect your circadian rhythm.

Other light, bright white lights, LED lights, Turn off electronics, turn off the tv, turn off the cell.

Light exposure will shift and alter your circadian clock. This can lead to disruptions during the night.

A symptom of disruption may even be waking up in the middle of the night. Making a habit of being off screens after 8 pm is a great way to help regulate your body’s circadian rhythms.

Even better, invest in a pair of blue light filtering glasses, in case you do need to pull up a screen at night.

Make Sleep Important to You

Your sleep is highly important to your metabolic health. Poor sleep hygiene and a bad sleep schedule cause imbalances in circadian rhythm health.

Lack of proper sleep can even increase stress hormones in the body, further causing imbalances and reducing health and wellbeing.

Night shift workers tend to have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood sugar, and diseases than day shift workers.

Since sleep is so heavily linked to metabolism and circadian rhythms, take care of your sleep.

Reduce light exposure, and sleep/wake up at designated times.

Remember, all these steps improve circadian clocks, which influence how you age, what your body looks like, the state of your health and metabolism, and more.

What will Doing All These Habits Accomplish?

As we age our circadian rhythm naturally becomes irregular as we age.

If we take small steps to have tighter, stricter circadian rhythms, we may be able to live longer without the diseases associated with aging.

Nutrient sensing enzymes, metabolism, and internal receptors all influence the circadian clock.

Therefore timing your meals and making sure you eat nutrient-dense foods becomes heavily important.

Insulin resistance increases with age, meaning a low carbohydrate diet may be more suitable for individuals who are over 50.

Insomnia or waking up in the middle of the night may be symptoms of a disrupted circadian rhythm, so have tighter control on when you sleep and the light exposure you have after 8 pm.

The Takeaway

The basic theme of this article and the science behind it is, to go back to basics to feel good.

The article discuss today was called Tuning up an aged clock: Circadian clock regulation in metabolism and aging. 

The diseases and maladaptive processes of aging are linked to disruptions in circadian rhythms, a cycle that is highly linked to metabolism.

Metabolic dysfunction is linked to circadian rhythms dysfunction, so boosting and supporting our metabolism is highly important.

When you eat and when you take supplements matters.

Try to consume nutrients that do not spike blood sugar for dinner, some individuals accomplish this by eating low carb or keto diets. 

Reduce light intake from any source after 8 pm, or invest in blue light filtering glasses.

Take care of your sleep cycle, when you sleep, and what time you wake up to further balance your circadian clock.

Remember, health starts from within! Small changes today have huge impacts tomorrow.

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