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Your Healthy Family: Your internal body clock is wired in your genes

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Your internal sleep clock is hard wired in your genes Your internal sleep clock is hard wired in your genes
COLORADO SPRINGS -

Besides the people who are sleep deprived, suffering from insomnia or those with undiagnosed sleep apnea, the other large large group of people struggling with good sleep health are those who may not understand the time of day their body is naturally programed to sleep during.

Your body clock is known as your circadian rhythm.  Dr. Timothy Rummel is a sleep doctor in Colorado Springs with UCHealth Memorial and Pulmonary Associates who says, “Your own internal circadian rhythm is something I think people are a little less aware of.  That is probably one of the most common things that I'm addressing with patients these days. You can ask yourself ‘if I could choose my best several hours to sleep that are the most refreshing for me?’ Where is that on the clock and then you compare that with your job obligations and your actual daytime functioning, it's a really useful place to start.”

Turns out your body comes preprogramed with a preferred time to sleep.  Dr. Rummel says research says for majority of people it's to bed around 10 at night and getting up around 6:30 in the morning.  

Dr. Rummel adds, than’t not all the latest research says, “Actually last year it was the Nobel Prize winners, who actually discovered the genes that set your internal clock.  It's relatively complicated to explain but it was really elegant research.”

If your work schedule or daily routine don't match up with your natural circadian rhythm Dr. Rummel suggests people can try to adjust your daily routine, or your body clock. “We can actually move your internal clock somewhere around fifty sixty percent of the time we can move it a couple three hours with certain treatments.  Usually it’s things like bright light treatment and working on adjusting your on your waking time.”

If you have any of these sleep issues your primary care doctor is a good place to start looking for help that often times can be a simple fix.

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