Sunlight and Your Biological Clock

I found this article about Glowing, Blinking Bacteria Reveal How Cells Synchronize Biological Clocks from posted by a friend on Facebook. It is about some researchers who are using E. coli bacteria to study how a population of cells use the 24 hour cycle so light and dark to synchronize their biological clocks.

The article is interesting as they explain how they are using certain proteins to get the bacteria to glow and blink to create shorter light and dark cycles to research how the synchronization happens, and there are many potential benefits down the road from understanding how the individual cells in our human body synchronize with each other.

There are three statements in the article that we can benefit from right now.

1. “Biologists have long known that organisms from bacteria to humans use the 24 hour cycle of light and darkness to set their biological clocks.

2. “The cells in our bodies are entrained, or synchronized, by light and would drift out of phase if not for sunlight.”

3. “…scientists have discovered that problems with the biological clock can result in many common medical problems from diabetes to sleep disorders.”

I believe that the gist of this is that we need to make sure that we get regular exposure to sunlight.

I’m lucky that I get to work from home and my desk is set next to a window where I get full morning light. People who don’t get to be near a window can take a walk at lunch and after work in the evening. I remember when I was stuck inside an office I would take my lunch outside and find a nice space to sit and read while I ate.

While sunlight is the best solution, if you absolutely cannot get outside, or at least near a window, on a regular basis then a full-spectrum lamp will help. This is the full-spectrum desk lamp that my wife and I use.

Wayne Woodworth

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