Tune into the rhythm of your biological clock

25 May 2016 - 09:22 By ©The Daily Telegraph


Scientists now know more than ever about chronobiology, the body's 24-hour biological clock that governs every essential process from sleep to metabolism to brain function. Every cell in our body runs on a rhythm, dictating when we should be eating or sleeping and even things like the best time to conceive or take our medication.University of Birmingham researchers reported the flu vaccine was four times more effective if taken between 9am and 11am, instead of 3pm and 5pm."In the last decade, there's been a huge explosion in our understanding of how our internal body clocks regulate every bodily process," says David Ray, professor of medicine and endocrinology at the University of Manchester. "This study confirmed what the science has been showing - the time at which you do things makes a big difference to health."Could the flu jab study eventually lead to more timing-based vaccinations? "The research suggests that the immune systems of pensioners may be more efficient in the first part of the day, rather than the later part," says Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford and author of Rhythms of Life: The BiologicalClocks That Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thing."But immune system function varies greatly with age, so we can't yet make a blanket recommendation for giving other vaccinations in the morning."One study claims afternoons might be best for babies having their first shots. The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, found babies sleep for longer after being vaccinated than those who received their jabs last thing at night.

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