Your Circadian Rhythm & Your Immune System

August 17, 2016

Morning cup of CoffeeWhen it comes to getting sick, timing may be everything.

Exposure to a virus in the morning is more likely to result in infection, according to new research. At even greater risk are people with disrupted circadian rhythms.

What’s going on? A virus doesn’t qualify as “alive” until it latches on to us, so to speak. And it latches on more easily when our bodies are more active. So, an infection that occurs during the morning means that it’s in right as we are ramping up production for the day.

The research doesn’t say whether people with disrupted circadian rhythms have some of the markers of being awake/active at more times, or whether it’s just a weakened immune system thing from the sleep disruption. It’s probably a complicated mix of factors (especially since heart attacks, depression, and other maladies are more likely for people with varying schedules).

There’s a lot we can take away from this study:

-Many hospitals give their staffs fairly grueling schedules, whether it’s three 12s on/three days off or having them alternate night and day shifts. This isn’t the first study suggesting that long and mixed schedules are bad, others have found that doctor error goes up the harder they are worked. Now, this evidence is piling on that it makes hospitals an even more likely spot for disease transmission.

-Be extra on-point with disease transmission in the mornings, from how you interact with others to frequent hand-washing.

-If there were a viral outbreak, (hello, Zika), staying in a few hours before heading out could be a valid way to decrease transmission. That doesn’t have to mean sleeping in as sensational headlines have touted, but instead front loading your time at home into your routine.

-If you use immune support like colloidal silver, the morning might be a good time to take it.

-If you know you’re at an increased risk because of your work schedule or whatever, try and compensate by doing more of the basics: catch up on your sleep, eat more veggies, and get a little exercise in the morning to wake up your immune system.

Share your thoughts in the comments:

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: