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SleepWell (Herbal XANAX)

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YOUR BODY CLOCK: CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS
The functioning of our bodies is governed by a biological inner clock, known as the circadian rhythm (from the Latin circa diem, meaning ‘about a day’). This regulates the times when various organs become more or less active, and when the production of various hormones peaks and tails off. The length of the circadian day is normally between 24 and 25 hours; some people have sleep problems because their body clocks are out of timing with the norm, or disturbed by things like shift work and jet lag.
The siesta, traditional in hot countries like Spain, is in decline as Mediterranean businesses come into line with the rest of
Europe. Yet it could be much more natural than our own patterns. The circadian rhythm is set to bring on sleep twice a day, mainly at night, but also in the early afternoon, which is why many people feel sleepy after lunch.
The circadian rhythm also varies with age. Babies sleep regularly during the day, at first at around three-hourly intervals, tailing off to a morning and an afternoon sleep; by the age of about two and a half they are sleeping in the afternoon only. In the elderly, the need for an afternoon sleep usually returns.
It appears to be the circadian rhythm which is responsible for some people being ‘owls’, finding it hard to wake in the morning but lively at night, while others are ‘larks’, leaping out of bed first thing and drooping by ten in the evening. Interestingly, these differences seem to grow less as people age.
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