Your internal body clock may be able to heal you

Story highlights

  • Wounds healed nearly 60% faster for injuries occurring during the day rather than at night
  • Afternoon surgery patients had a 50% lower risk than morning patients of a cardiac event

(CNN)Circadian rhythms control your sleep and wake cycles as well as guide essential bodily functions including metabolism, blood pressure and even the individual cell-level work done by your genes.

In fact, each of your cells has its own biological clock, which is synchronized via temperature, hormones and other bodily cues, while the entire clockwork symphony is coordinated by a single conductor, a master clock in your brain known as the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei.
A Nobel Prize awarded to three American scientists who focused their research on the genetic and molecular biology of circadian rhythms suggests how fundamental these processes are to our health. Alina Patke, a research associate in the lab of Dr. Michael Young, one of the Nobel Prize winners and a professor at Rockefeller University, explained that circadian rhythms not only control human behavior and physiology but also that of animals, plants and even fungi.