How to Get Into the Right Rhythm for Wound Healing

Proactive Health

By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D. Founder

Getting injured is never good. But if you do get injured, it is better to do so during the daytime because it might take you a shorter time to recover.

A recent study examined 118 patients at burn units and observed that there was overall an 11 day difference in healing rates between people injured at night and people injured during the day. Burn victims injured at night took around 28 days to heal, while daytime victims needed just 17 days.

The explanation for this may be due to your body’s circadian rhythm, also known as the 24-hour sleep/wake cycle.

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. They respond primarily to light and darkness in an organism's environment. Sleeping at night and being awake during the day is an example of a light-related circadian rhythm,” according to the National Institutes for Health (NIH). Circadian rhythms may also influence hormone release, eating habits and digestion, body temperature and other important bodily functions.

And one of these important bodily functions appears to include wound healing.

Researchers found that fibroblasts, skin cells critical for wound healing, are more responsive during the day (when you are in the wake phase of your circadian rhythm). According to study notes, these cells lose their ability during the night.

Obviously you cannot control the timing of your injuries, but this discovery is very important because it may improve surgical practices.

Surgeons may now be able to alter your circadian rhythm through the use of drugs, like cortisol (a steroid hormone), to the wake phase if you are undergoing an operation at night. So nighttime operations may now be artificially transformed to “daytime” operations.

More research is still needed, but if this proves to be a viable option for improving surgeries, this could have a major impact on healthcare.

If you are lucky, or maybe very young, and have never had surgery, chances are you will one day. So it is exciting to know about the advances in medicine that may improve recovery from such procedures.

Another way you may speed up your wound recovery after surgery is by making sure you have an adequate intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C infusion or having an oral ascorbic acid days prior to surgical procedures may promote faster healing. Vitamin C  has also been found to decrease pain after surgery, improving outcome and reducing the need for pain medications.

Furthermore, according to the University of Michigan, vitamin C decreases the risk of excessive bleeding during surgery, so you may want to consider taking more than your RDA of vitamin C both before and after surgery.

Talk to your doctor or a competent healthcare professional about your personal vitamin and mineral needs. Everyone is different. And to find out whether you have any nutrient imbalances or deficiencies, consider a comprehensive nutrition test.

Enjoy your healthy life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.


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