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Your Circadian Rhythm: What It Is And Why It Matters




If you’ve ever read anything about how using your cell phone can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep or wondered why you get jet lagged when you travel, then you’ve spent at least a little time thinking about circadian rhythms. But what exactly are circadian rhythms, and why are they so important? It’s a big question with a lot to unpack.

Your Body’s Clock

A common way that scientists and writers describe your circadian rhythms is as your body’s internal or biological clock, and this is a good, basic description. Circadian rhythms consist of the many different bodily patterns that are tied to a 24-hour daily cycle

These are physical, mental, and even behavioral, and different organ systems have their own unique expressions of these cycles. These shifts, which are largely regulated by exposure to light, especially sunlight, are most notable to the individual as hunger signals and digestion, body temperature, and alertness or fatigue.

Circadian Rhythm Disruptions

Another important factor everyone should understand about circadian rhythms is that their disruption by outside forces can lead to serious health problems. Now, a few nights of fatigue due to jet lag aren’t serious, of course, but in the long-term, dysregulation can lead to serious illnesses. And conversely, disruptions in circadian rhythms can be a sign of an underlying disorder.

As the most outwardly obvious sign of your circadian rhythms daily progression, sleep may be the most widely researched of the daily biological cycles. For example, researchers have looked carefully at sleep apnea as a cause of serious health problems

Sleep apnea can be obstructive – meaning it’s caused by a physical blockage – or central – meaning the brain doesn’t send the signal to breathe during sleep; but in either case, it can prevent people from experiencing restful sleep, leading to significant health problems, including daytime sleepiness, problems with appetite regulation, and even an increased risk of heart disease and obesity.

Circadian Rhythms And Neurodegeneration

One of the most significant recent discoveries of note regarding circadian rhythms is the link between circadian rhythm dysfunction and neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. In a study supported by the Brain Research Foundation, Dr. Ravi Allada explored the function of the circadian clock gene in fruit fly models, specifically examining its neuroprotective role. When there is a mutation in this gene, his lab concluded, the body is less able to protect itself against neurodegeneration.

Circadian Rhythms And Cancer

Another emerging area of research related to circadian rhythms is in regard to cancer risk. When the body’s normal rhythms, which include those involved in immune system function, are no longer working properly, it’s more likely that normal cellular repair systems will fail. This can lead to dangerous mutations; the body may also be less able to naturally kill cancer cells when there is a circadian rhythm disorder present.

There are many different illnesses directly and indirectly linked to circadian rhythm disorders, and work addressing these issues is still in the early stages. What has become clear, however, is that the more we know about our vital internal rhythms and how to maintain them, the better equipped we are to protect our overall health.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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9 Simple Steps to Dealing with a Broken Tooth




Credit: freepik via Freepik

It’s movie night, and you have an obligatory bowlful of popcorn balancing on your lap. You toss a handful of popcorn and — crack — you unknowingly bite down on a kernel with the full power of your jaw. 

Lightning strikes your mouth as you realize this humble kernel broke your tooth. 

Now what? 

Besides pausing the movie and spitting out your mouthful of popcorn and tooth, you might not know your next steps. 

What should you do, and how can you pay for it? Find the answers to these questions and more below:

1. Save the Pieces 

If possible, save any broken pieces of the tooth. Your dentist might need these pieces.

2. Rinse Your Mouth 

Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Avoid using hot or cold water, as it might aggravate any exposed nerves. 

3. Control Bleeding 

If you bleed, apply gentle pressure to the area with a clean cloth or gauze. You can also use a cold compress on your jaw or cheek to reduce swelling.

4. Contact Your Dentist

Reach out to your dentist immediately. Explain the situation and try to schedule an emergency appointment. Many dentists reserve slots for urgent cases. If they don’t have a spot available, look at specialty emergency clinics in your area.

5. Get Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

Broken and chipped teeth can hurt, so take some over-the-counter pain relievers to help manage this pain until you can see your dentist. 

6. Check Insurance Coverage

Review your dental insurance policy to understand coverage details. Some policies may cover emergency procedures, while others may have limitations.

7. Discuss Payment Options

If cost is a concern, discuss financing options with your dentist. Some dental offices offer flexible arrangements that give you a break. If you qualify for these plans, you might be able to push out your due date to coincide with your payday. You may even be able to break up your total outstanding amount over several payments. 

8. Take out a Personal Loan

If you’re just shy of what you need to cover your emergency dental expense, consider going online to scope out personal loans. A personal loan may fill in for savings in urgent situations. You can quickly visit a website like MoneyKey to see what you need to apply. If approved, a personal loan gives you the means to pay for your visit upfront and pay off what you owe over time. 

9. Consider Urgent Care Clinics

If your financial situation is such that you can’t afford a personal loan’s payments, reconsider your choice of dentist. Some dental practices apply a sliding scale to their services so that they can provide immediate care at a lower cost for at-risk individuals. 

Next Steps: Thinking About the Future

So, you’ve managed to repair your tooth and pay the bill, too. What’s next? Make sure you hit these three goals soon. They can help you prevent another broken tooth in the future!

  1. Stay on Top of Dental Hygiene: Brush at least twice a day and floss once a day — these simple habits can protect your teeth over time. 
  2. Schedule Regular Checkups: Keeping up with regular cleanings can also help you prevent future dental emergencies. 
  3. Build an Emergency Fund: Sometimes, accidents happen. Consider building an emergency fund specifically for unexpected dental emergencies.
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