Biorhythms: when it is more effective to take medicine, injections and mammography

Healthy lifestyle

Biorhythms: when it is more effective to take medicine, injections and mammography

10 august 2017


Being overweight is the most harmless problem that ignoring your biological clock leads to. Sleep specialist Michael Breus, in Always On Time, explains how to build a daily schedule that will make the most of your own resources. The most important thing is to define your chronotype, but there are a few things that will suit everyone. Today we will provide answers to five topical questions about health, as well as life hacks for communicating with doctors and pharmacists.

When is the best time to take your medication?

The body’s defenses are most active at night when we are resting and passive during the day when we are awake. The body needs to recover after a hard day, and basically this process occurs in the first third of the night in the phase of deep sleep with slow waves.

It is possible to “help” the recovery work with medications before going to bed, then the body will cope with the disease better. The effect of the drugs will intensify, so Dr. Breus recommends taking them at night.

How many hours do you need to sleep?

In 2015, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and Carnegie Mellon University monitored 164 adults’ sleep for a week using wrist monitors. Then the subjects were sent to the laboratory, where they injected nasal drops with rhinovirus and monitored their health for another five days. Those who slept less than six hours were significantly more likely to get sick than those who slept seven hours. All other variables — gender, medication, BMI, psychological problems — were excluded.

Just one hour of sleep was essential.

During the day, it is advised to sleep for 10-15 minutes. A source

Breus advises all chronotypes to sleep at least seven hours a day, but no more than nine. Excessive sleep of an adult indicates that not everything is in order with health. Most often, these people suffer from depression or narcolepsy.

What time do you get the injections?

Some adults, like children, are afraid of injections. Studies have shown that the painfulness of the injection depends on the biorhythms, and any discomfort associated with this can be reduced. In 2014, scientists from the University of Haifa in Israel applied different painful effects with varying degrees of intensity – mechanical, cold and heat – on 48 male subjects to test pain tolerance in the morning, afternoon and evening.

It turned out that people can endure severe pain longer in the morning.

So if you are shaking from one type of syringe, go for injections in the morning when the sensitivity threshold is higher.

How to make the vaccine more effective?

All chronotypes should receive a flu shot in early October. This is the perfect time to protect yourself from illness. But there is one trick that will make the vaccine “work” at its maximum.

In 2011, Iowa State University researchers, including Marian Kohat, a professor of kinesiology, injected a group of students with the H1N1 influenza virus vaccine, and then immediately sent some of them on a run or on an exercise bike for 90 minutes. The control group did not exercise. One month later, the subjects were checked for the amount of antibodies produced. In the group with physical activity, there were twice as many of them than in the control group. In other words, the body of the “athletes” responded more effectively to this virus. Next time you get your flu shot, go for a run or walk in the park after your procedure. This will double the effectiveness of the vaccine.

When to get a mammogram?

The main task of mammography is to detect a possible tumor. There are several things that improve the accuracy of the study. Doctors do not talk about this, but following the recommendations will help detect the disease in time.

Many women do not know that caffeine increases breast tenderness and exacerbates the pain in fibroids. The Duke University study involved 138 women with fibrocystic breast disease, of whom 113 completely quit caffeine within a year. 69 of them reported a decrease or disappearance of chest pain. Avoid drinking coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda for one to two days before your mammogram to make the procedure easier.

Limit fluid volume one to two days before your mammogram
Limit fluid volume one to two days before your mammogram. A source

The accuracy of mammography also depends on the days of the cycle. According to a large-scale study by scientists from the Seattle Health Research Institute, it is best to schedule the procedure for the first week of the cycle (the first day is the first day of your period). Analysis of 387,218 mammograms of women aged 35 to 54 over eleven years showed that for 66.6% of women, 79.5% of positive results (when a tumor was found) were obtained in the first week. At this time, the breast tissue is less dense: the swelling due to fluid retention during premenstrual syndrome subsides, and the swelling is easier to notice.

To summarize: two days before the mammogram, do not drink caffeine drinks, tea and sign up for the procedure in the first week of the cycle. Then the research will be most accurate.

Life hacks that will help you communicate with doctors and pharmacists

Dr. Breus is not limited to recommendations related to biological rhythms. Here are some tips to make your interactions with doctors and pharmacists more enjoyable and productive.

  • Sign up for an examination in the morning. The waiting time will be shorter, which will alleviate frustration, irritation and hunger if you need to donate blood on an empty stomach. The body is more constrained in the morning, the tidal volume is reduced, so arthritis and asthma will make themselves felt. This way the doctor can better assess your condition.
  • Make an appointment for an operation in the morning. The effectiveness of anesthesia depends on bio-time. Side effects from anesthesia are more likely during the daytime, according to the Duke University Medical Center, which analyzed 90,000 operations at a university hospital from 2000 to 2004. Patients who participated in the study also reported additional administrative problems during the daytime – long waiting times, red tape with documents – circumstances from which blood pressure skyrocketed. Moreover, in the morning, surgeons are less likely to make mistakes: unpleasant incidents occur much less during peak hours of activity – from 9.00 to 12.00. And failures more often occur during periods of decline in activity – between 15.00 and 16.00. During the day, patients are also more likely to experience postoperative pain and nausea.
  • Submit prescriptions for making medicines in the morning and pick up prepared medicines in the afternoon. The pharmacist will have plenty of time to prepare the medicines and not make the rush mistake.

Life hacks and answers to questions about health were prepared based on the materials of the book “Always on time”. It is not yet on sale, and to find out when it will be released, subscribe to the notification: as soon as the book arrives from the printing house, you will immediately know about it. First readers will be able to purchase it at a discount!

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