The Circadian Code



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Posted by: stak
Tags: book2019
Posted on: 2019-03-23 19:40:38

Book #3 of 2019 is The Circadian Code, by Satchin Panda. This was a pretty interesting book written by a researcher in the field of circadian rhythms. Interesting to me at least because there's a lot more research in this field than I thought there would be, and (if one believes the book) the evidence overwhelmingly indicates that the body's circadian rhythms are hugely important in maintaining good health. If even a tenth of the claims he makes in the book are true, it's worth applying his suggestions.

The quick summary is that different organs/systems in the body have different clocks that are controlled by different things. e.g. the brain alertness/awakeness is controlled by exposure to blue light; the digestive system is controlled by when you eat, and so on. Ensuring that you allow the different clocks to work their full cycles properly leads to better health outcomes. The single biggest thing to do is ensure that all your eating stays within a 12 hour (or smaller) window in a day, so as to give your digestive and other related systems time to rest and recover. This is called time-restricted eating (TRE) and many studies have shown it helps in all sorts of ways (again, per the book). I haven't even consulted any alternative sources on this but it's worth following up on.

The book itself was a mix of science, anecdotes, and personal stories/advice. The mix was pretty good although after a while the sheer number of studies being described and cited started to make my eyes glaze over so towards the end I was sort of just skimming. The "TRE is awesome" theme got hammered in a little too much, in my opinion. Still, overall it was a pretty informative read.

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