A Crazy Schedule May Put Your Waistline At Risk

Photo (cc) by Aaron Geller

A chronically irregular schedule could be to blame for weight gain and metabolic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, according to circadian science.

While scientists have long since established that a “master clock” in our brain regulates our 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, NPR reports they have more recently discovered that all vital organs have their own clock.

Researchers are working on a way to reset our clocks with medication, as PsychCentral recently reported. Until then, however, it’s up to us to keep our clocks in sync or suffer the consequences.

Occasional disturbances to our sleep-wake side, such as pulling an all-nighter or flying to a different time zone, can temporarily throw off our hunger pangs and blood sugar levels, or leave us feeling jet-lagged, for example. Over time, though, an irregular schedule can led to chronic health issues.

“What happens is that you get a total de-synchronization of the clocks within us, which may be underlying the chronic diseases we face in our society today,” Northwestern University circadian scientist Fred Turek tells NPR.

Even eating in the middle of the night can throw our clocks out of sync, Turek says, because our master clock is set by the light-dark cycle and therefore tells the other clocks inside us when it’s night.

“The clock in the brain is sending signals saying: Do not eat, do not eat!” Turek says.

If we override the master clock, the clocks in the vital organs that help digest food will become out of sync because the meal in the middle of the night forced them to work when the master clock was telling them to rest.

This phenomenon also helps explains the results of a study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2013. It concluded that people who ate later in the day lost weight more slowly.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

8 Secrets of an Expert Thrift Store Shopper
8 Secrets of an Expert Thrift Store Shopper

Here’s how a veteran thrift shopper scores the best deals — and turns a profit from them.

5 Common Medical Expenses That Medicare Won’t Pay For
5 Common Medical Expenses That Medicare Won’t Pay For

Don’t let these health care costs catch you off guard in retirement.

5 Reasons You Should Claim Social Security ASAP
5 Reasons You Should Claim Social Security ASAP

Experts often recommend postponing claiming your Social Security retirement benefits. But there are situations in which you should start taking the money sooner.

The 10 Best and 10 Worst States for Raising a Family in 2020
The 10 Best and 10 Worst States for Raising a Family in 2020

There are trade-offs no matter where you live. However, some states have big advantages when it comes to choosing a home for your family.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach
10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach

Does the pandemic have you reaching for bleach more than ever before? Learn the ins and outs of using this powerful disinfectant.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.