As we age the body clock changes. It is well known that teenagers like to sleep in during the mornings, and when we reach 50 we tend to rise earlier. So why is this so?
Robina 7 Day Doctors and Acupuncture recommend this video on ageing and the body clock:
You probably already know whether you’re a “lark” who leaps out of bed in the morning, or an “owl” who needs a good few snoozes to get going. But did you realise that your body clock is far more complicated than this – and is finely tuned and governed by hundreds of body-clock cells? “Each of us has a sophisticated internal system of ‘body clock’ genes that turn on and off at different times and tell other parts of our body what they should be doing.”
Working with our internal body clock can improve our health and wellbeing – there really is a right time to eat, sleep, exercise, even exfoliate and moisturise our skin. But as we get older, we can find ourselves increasingly out of sync. “We start waking up a lot at night, and waking up earlier than we’d like to,” reveals McKenna. “It becomes more important than ever to keep it ticking along in time with circadian rhythms, and to get the best out of it by honing our daily routine.”
Scientists have found links between a disrupted body clock and age-related health issues, ranging from diabetes and heart disease to cognitive decline and even dementia. To tackle this, McKenna says: “Try getting out and about as much as possible during the day to expose the body to natural daylight – the more light that hits our eyes, the better our mood, sleep, memory and physical functions.” However, don’t forget that it’s also important to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun with a product that contains an SPF.