Disruption to our internal clock, regulated by what’s known as the circadian rhythm, may result in weight gain, according to a new study, reports News Channel Nebraska.

The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle controlled by the rise and fall of various hormones in the body. One such hormone, glucocorticoid, peaks at 8 a.m., resulting in a “signal for waking us up and making us bright-eyed and bushy-tailed,” Dr. Mary Teruel, an author on the study and a professor working in the chemical and systems biology department at Stanford University, said in a press release.

But the circadian rhythm can also be influenced by glucocorticoids released into our bloodstream through other means — from medications, and stress, either physical or emotional.