Biohack Your Way To Success: The Science of Female Time

time.com
chemistryworld.com

The Science of Time….Within Your Body

Chronobiology is a subset of biology that seeks to understand the cyclical phenomena in organisms and their adaptation to physiological rhythms.

Together, these circadian rhythms fall into natural sync, producing the symphony of human life.

This master clock is directly influenced by environmental cues, especially light, which is why circadian rhythms are tied to the cycle of day and night.

We have thrown our circadian rhythms so off course that we are having to biohack our lives just in order to restore the damage we have done to our natural bodily functions.

Progressively, society has become increasingly more aware of this issue. Things like screen time limits and blue light glasses aim to subside the biological and functional costs that we pay on a daily basis through our constant tiredness and decreased productivity.

floliving.com

The Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

When we think of the menstrual cycle, we often just think of menstruation or a “period.” Every time you menstruate, the cycle simply repeats.

But there is a lot more to it than just that.

Menstruation isn’t just the process of ovulation and menstruation. In fact, there are 4 main phases that constitute the ovarian cycle:

sofreshngreen.com

Follicular Phase (7–10 days)

Soon after the onset of menstruation, the hypothalamus, a small, almond-sized structure, stimulates the pituitary gland, a small, pea-sized gland controlling the function of the other endocrine glands while producing hormones of its own.

Ovulatory Phase (3–4 days)

The dominant follicle in the ovary produces increasing amounts of estrogen as grows larger. Soon, the dominant follicle reaches about 2–3 cm in diameter; its largest size prior to ovulation. When the estrogen levels reach a threshold, they send a signal to the brain to ramp up the production of luteinizing hormone, which is released by the pituitary gland and triggers ovulation, the release of an egg.

Luteal Phase (10–14 days)

Once ovulation occurs, the follicle that once contained the egg transforms into a mass of cells called a corpus luteum, responsible for the production of progesterone and some estrogen.

Menstruation (3–7 days)

If an egg is fertilized, progesterone from the corpus luteum supports early pregnancy, but if fertilization doesn’t occur, the corpus luteum breaks down and is reabsorbed with utmost efficiency.

The menstrual cycle is a constant symphony of hormonal and biological processes working to create life

thelogicalindian.com

Understanding Hormonal Advantages

It turns out, there’s a bit more to our biochemistry than we thought.

  • parathyroid hormone (PTH) → parathyroid
  • adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) → adrenals
  • follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or luteinizing hormone (LH) → ovaries
oprah.com

The Key Hormones

These hormones are the most prevalent throughout the menstrual cycle, and are referred to above and often when talking about menstruation. They include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and insulin:

Estrogen

Estrogen is produced primarily in the ovaries but also in minimal amounts by the adrenal glands and fat cells. Estrogen essentially dictates the majority of your hormonal cycle and is a key indicator of hormonal health.

Progesterone

Progesterone ramps up around ovulation; its main job is to control and maintain the uterine lining buildup as the uterus is anticipating a pregnancy.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

FSH is released by the pituitary gland in the brain and stimulates ovarian follicles to mature. The levels of FSH, LH, and estrogen, increase until ovulation and because the follicles grow steadily under the influence of FSH, your estrogen level also rises.

Luteinizing hormone (LH)

LH is released by the pituitary gland in the brain at ovulation and triggers the release of a mature egg from an ovarian follicle and is also responsible for the production of estrogen in the ovaries.

Insulin

When consuming carbohydrates, the body breaks down the molecules into glucose, a monosaccharide. The pancreas secretes the hormone insulin as a response to the glucose in the bloodstream.

Cortisol

Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone whose release is regulated by the body’s hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Cortisol levels are often the highest during the follicular phase.

forge.medium.com

Taking Advantage of Your Cycle…..And Your Time

While the menstrual cycle is a collection of hormonal and biological processes coming together to create life within one’s body, it has an external effect as well.

Follicular (7–10 days): Creativity and Planning

As estrogen rises during this phase, the brain’s working memory capacity is enhanced. Specifically, the ability to handle complex processing tasks. Allocate your time towards mentally challenging assignments as your brain is naturally more inclined to solve problems strategize and plan.

Ovulatory (3–4 days): Communication and Collaboration

The rising estrogen during this phase increases synaptic connections, which can boost mental sharpness, creativity, and communication skills. This time can be leveraged by planning important conversations and communicating with others, as you can convey your opinions clearly and effectively.

Luteal (10–14 days): Completion and Detail

As the corpus luteum is absorbed and progesterone rises, your energy begins to turn inward to focus on detail-oriented tasks. More often, you'll be drawn to notice more details and take on responsibilities that are more technical.

Menstrual (3–7 days): Analysis and Reflection

Analysis and reflection are the dominant desires during this phase, as communication between both hemispheres of the brain is strongest during this time.

chronobiology.com

A Better Way to Think About Time

After gaining a comprehensive insight into the detailed processes behind a once-a-month occurrence, it’s easy to see how much we’ve overlooked.

Now that we understand how intricate yet functional these processes are, we can use that knowledge to our advantage.

When you have two biological clocks, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or confused.

We are conditioned to do continue working; do more, even more, and then some.

But with more introspection and awareness, and less stress, and strict adherence, we can actually accomplish more. I can name countless times that I have spent 6 hours on a 2-hour assignment or have hosted important meetings as I was trying to fight debilitating cramps.

The problem never was and never will be a lack of time.

It’s time to let go of old patterns and adopt a productivity paradigm that's backed by your biology.

chatelaine.com

Sources:

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Manasi Gajjalapurna

Manasi Gajjalapurna

AI, women’s health, and education | a collection of my thoughts | manasigajjalapurna.com