For hundreds of years, scientists have understood that living organisms contain internal clocks. These clocks allow us to anticipate the sun’s rising and setting and control much of our physiology. All life on Earth has evolved to be in alignment with the 24-hour revolution of our planet on its axis, and this alignment has caused us to evolve such that we are actually functioning as though we are two quite different creatures: one by day and a completely separate one by night!
We are designed and adapted to work, eat, and move during the day, and to sleep, rejuvenate, and repair at night. We function in perfect harmony with the movements of the planet; even our hormone production is coordinated with the rising and setting of the sun, in a complex system that has evolved over millions of years. All of this occurs, quite simply, to increase the chances of our survival. It’s only relatively recently, however, that we’ve really started to understand the relationship between the circadian rhythm and our well-being, and that’s why the news that the Nobel Prize in medicine has been awarded to three scientists who discovered the gene responsible for ensuring for controlling circadian rhythm is hugely significant.