For pre-diabetes and Type-2 diabetes who regularly monitor their blood sugar, there is a well-known issue called dawn phenomenon. It is characterized by a rise in blood sugar during the early morning hours, despite lifestyle measures and even medication.
Research findings support the idea that an altered daily rhythm of expression of the Rev-erb gene may underlie dawn phenomenon.
When the body awakes and takes in food, insulin is secreted from the pancreas to signal the body to lower blood sugar. Insulin is more effective in doing this job upon waking than at other times of the day. This high insulin sensitivity is probably because the body is anticipating feeding behaviors upon waking up.
Interestingly enough this isn’t the only function of the body relying heavily on a diurnal rhythm. Our day and night cycles govern:
the ability to fall asleep
the ability stay asleep
heart rate variability
our immune system!
As epigenetic studies prove time and again, many environmental factors that we have control over can up-regulate and down-regulate gene expression.
I believe it is so with the new Rev-erb gene as well. However, understanding more intricacies of these genes continue to offer insight on further impacting genetic expression in our favor.