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Does biological clock affects bowel movement and sleep patterns?

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Posted on Mon, 14 Dec 2015
Question: Hello, For the last couple of years I've been waking up after exactly 6 hours of sleep and most of the times I have bowel movement right after waking up. I do not have troubles falling asleep in the evening, as I usually sleep within minutes after getting in bed. It doesn't matter when I go to bed, I will always wake up after 6 hours.
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Answered by Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha (34 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
The biological clock does it for you.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic.

I have very carefully gone through the details that you have provided. We have something called biological clock. The body knows how to keep track of time. There is something called cicardian rhythm and there are certain hormones like melatonin that help the body in this. I myself have often set mental alarms for hours like 4am in the morning and have got up sharply at 4 am without any alarm ringing from any clock. The body does this using its own sense of time. In your case, the body has set a standard at waking at 6 am. So, it adjusts the sleep cycles automatically in order to wake you up at that time. So all that can be inferred in your case is that your pineal gland of the brain is doing a good work by secreting the right amount of melatonin.

Let me know if you need any further explanations and I would be glad to help.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha (1 hour later)
Hello Doctor,

Thank for the explanation regarding the circadian rhythm.
Now, I understand that the circadian rhythm does not really variate much from one day to another e.g. Melatonin secretion starts pretty much around the same hour every day. My problem is that
1. no matter when I go to bed in the evening, I wake up after exactly 6 hours of sleep. e.g. If I go to bed at 10pm I will wake up at 4am. If next evening I go to bed at midnight, I will wake up at 6am. Is this ok from circadian rhythm perspective?
2. When I wake up, I feel somehow that the bowel movement is the trigger to wake up. Can it be that I have a digestive problem that triggers the bowel movement, which then triggers the wake up? Sometimes the bowel movement is rather small (small amount of urine or small amount of stool), so it feels like the bowel movement feeling was not really needed as the bladder/intestine was not even half full.. How this can be explained please?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Meditate. Exercise. On regular basis.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing back.

The mechanisms of circadian rhythm are complex and not understood in its entirety. But that does not mean that we cannot gain control over our body. In your case, the body has defined how much sleep it needs, and interrupts you exact after its fulfilment. Although this is a part of your circadian rhythm, you can definitely gain control over it by training your mind. Meditation can help you in achieving such control.

It is very natural to get woken by the urge to pass urine or stool. It perhaps so happens that when the processing of the digestion and waste formation reaches a certain state that the stimulus of certain muscle contractions occurs and that is set as your waking tool (as for most other people as well). This can definitely be explained it does not necessitate the badder or the rectum to be full.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1954

Answered : 4469 Questions

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Does biological clock affects bowel movement and sleep patterns?

Brief Answer: The biological clock does it for you. Detailed Answer: Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic. I have very carefully gone through the details that you have provided. We have something called biological clock. The body knows how to keep track of time. There is something called cicardian rhythm and there are certain hormones like melatonin that help the body in this. I myself have often set mental alarms for hours like 4am in the morning and have got up sharply at 4 am without any alarm ringing from any clock. The body does this using its own sense of time. In your case, the body has set a standard at waking at 6 am. So, it adjusts the sleep cycles automatically in order to wake you up at that time. So all that can be inferred in your case is that your pineal gland of the brain is doing a good work by secreting the right amount of melatonin. Let me know if you need any further explanations and I would be glad to help. Regards