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5 Weird Facts About Biological Rhythms | What the Stuff?!

September 18, 2019


(funky music) – Much like your computer
and your microwave or your standard model clock tower your body comes equipped
with a time keeping device. Several actually. The most prominent of
these time keeping devices are the circadian rhythms. Daily cycles that run through
roughly 24 hour periods and effect things like hormone production, body temperature, and of
course sleep and wake. Here are five surprising things you might not have realized about the clocks in your body. There are many clocks
operating at the same time distributed all throughout your cells but they’re all controlled
and synchronized by a single master clock inside the brain. This master clock is a group of about 20,000 neurons called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN, which lives inside the hypothalamus. Sort of in the center of your head right above the optic nerve. And this organ is important. If you suffer damage to your SCN it can cause all kinds of problems for your natural circadian rhythms such as the timing of sleep and wake. When did organisms on Earth first evolve internal clocks
like circadian rhythms? Many scientists think
the biological clocks first showed up more
than 3 billion years ago to track the day night cycle in an organism called siana bacteria, a single celled ocean dwelling creature that still exists today. We know it as blue green algae. But why would some bits
of floating ocean slime need to know the time of day? It’s not they have to
get up and go to work. This actually isn’t a
totally settled question. One interesting hypothesis
is siana bacteria involved circadian rhythms to create time for two separate energy production jobs: photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation that would interfere with one another if they happened simultaneously. So we got photosynthesis during the day and nitrogen fixation at night. You know around two o’clock when you’ve just had
a nice fried ice-cream calzone for lunch and
you’re trying to get through those spreadsheets and
suddenly you just hit a great wall of sleepiness? You’re not alone. In fact the early afternoon napping urge is extremely common. Circadian rhythms don’t
always fit our work schedules because of another internal clock known as sleep wake homeostasis which is basically our
body’s way of saying OK I realize you’ve been
awake for a while now. It’s normal for an adult
human to feel a little drowsy after being awake for
seven or eight hours. In fact according to the
national sleep foundation the most common time
for drowsiness in adults are between two and four in the morning and between one and
three in the afternoon. Our natural circadian rhythms operate roughly on a 24 hour cycle but they’re not above being corrected and are highly influenced
by our surroundings. Especially light and dark. Simply put our bodies want to wake up when the sun’s up and go to sleep when it’s dark. But in electrified
societies light and dark aren’t always so predictable. Artificial light whether that’s
a lamp in the living room or a tablet screen in
front of your eyes in bed can trick our internal
rhythms into thinking it’s time to be wide awake and be watching YouTube videos
in the middle of the night. If you ever wanna become acutely aware of the importance of your own body clocks just try traveling to a far off longitude and doing everything you would normally do at the local time of day. Not so easy, huh? This effect commonly known as jet lag happens when you’re circadian rhythms aren’t correctly synchronized with your new time zone. Your brain is trained
to release melatonin, a hormone which induces sleep, at the wrong time of day. It can be a traveler’s
nightmare for a day or two. Fortunately the body can usually adapt just fine to the new time zone and after a little bit of practice and a few cycles of light and darkness to re time the melatonin release schedule. On the other hand the body might not adapt nearly as well to daylight savings time since no one ever bothers
to let the sun and Earth know we’ve moved seven am ahead an hour. What’s your favorite fact
about biological clocks and what do you do to make sure yours run on time? Let us know in the comments and if you like this video click on the thumbs up button and subscribe to our channel for more. And if you wanna learn
more about body clocks and circadian rhythms check out ten weird facts
about biological rhythms at howstuffworks.com. You’ll be right now time. (laughs) (piano key)

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19 Comments

  • Reply Javi Sndvl July 2, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    First

  • Reply skullo13 July 2, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    11:39 pm and i need to be awake for work at 04:00 am….

  • Reply peperruti July 2, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Pretty interesting.

  • Reply SHEEPY 14842 July 2, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Cool this stuff keeps fascinating.
    sometimes I can get away with 3 ours sleep only but than im in deep coma 🙂 somehow the body really needs sleep and ad least one circle of rem rapid eye thingy to remove the stuff that makes you feel heavy and clouded up 🙂 . like you guys said depends what you do. intensive labour needs more ours to adjust ad least 8 ours of sleep 🙂 16 ours maximum :-p a well balanced person needs less sleep and has a controlled awareness. when awareness decreases more sleep is needed 🙂

  • Reply vivian james July 2, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    so we should get all work places to take this into account and let us take naps during work

    whos with me?!

  • Reply Luca Digioia July 2, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Often I wake up 10 seconds before the alarm clock goes off. Does that mean that i got radiation growing up? 😀

  • Reply EcHo8484 July 3, 2015 at 1:03 am

    shes hot

  • Reply Candie Barr July 3, 2015 at 3:58 am

    my body wants to go to sleep around 6am usually. I wonder where I could go that's about 6 hours behind… or 18 hours ahead…

  • Reply Jacob Lee July 3, 2015 at 8:48 am

    the drum track in the background is way too loud

  • Reply Darren Schmidt July 3, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    2:24 Nosebleeds all day everyday
    seriously not that important…

  • Reply thearchitect27 July 3, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    All I care about is this…is that the SAME girl from Stuff Mom Never Told You???

  • Reply Prune Juice Power July 11, 2015 at 9:49 am

    she's too clown like in appearance to take seriously and how she rolls her friggn jaw around like it's been punched and broken a million times….. urg.

  • Reply ManBearPig 69 July 14, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Naturally the circadian rythoms go on a 25 hour cycle but due to sunlight we change it to 24 to make up with the daily cycle.

  • Reply Felix Elfström August 8, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    I feel hit by the comment on looking at YouTube :$

  • Reply universalmanchild August 21, 2015 at 12:22 am

    This is all a bunch of mumbo jumbo bullshit.

  • Reply Jamie Getsu January 9, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Living in Alaska tends to mess us up. During the Winter Sunset is between 3-5pm and during the summer it doesn't set till 11pm and rises at 2am. Not only that my husband get very upset when I sleep when He can't. He has a night owl cycle which the doctor says is normal. He thought he was an insomniac, but they said his clock adjusts over a few weeks. So sometimes he'll be up from 7am to 10 at night and then all of a sudden. Up at 10pm and not sleep till 3pm. I now have myself on his time, and it really hurts sometimes.

  • Reply ShariSez1 March 27, 2016 at 5:00 am

    I love the way that you totally ignore the fact that there are both day people and night people. Pretty much invalidates every other narrow-minded thing you had to say. I'm 60 yrs old. According to my mother, I've been a night person since birth. Want to try to blame that on tablet screens?

  • Reply Michael Harig Jr March 29, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Since they call it jet lag, yet there are some people that can experince the same effect traveling in a vehicle. I wonder what the average speed in a direct east west motion one would have to go to aviod this?

  • Reply EDSinREALife June 25, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    My "clocks" are broken….it's called dysautonomia….and it is HELL ON EARTH.

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