Administrate Our Body Clock
Administrate our “Body Clock” (the Biological Clock) in re Eating, Working and Sleeping more effectively
Let us inspect how the internal body clock changes everything we do and what is the best time for us to occupy ourselves in different daily activities.
1. Dinner Time
Eating late dinner largely conflicts with our internal body clock because the clock starting to stop, getting ready for sleep. If we are just starting to process the food which we eat, it is probably not the optimum time for a big meal.
Nutritionist found in experiment that after an evening meal blood glucose levels were much higher than when the exact same meal was eaten earlier in the day. That suffice to say we should try getting most calories earlier in the day and have lighter and earlier evening meals.
2. Sleeping Time and Its Span
In fact most of us have a fairly regular time when sleep benefits us most. We are typically constructed having two sleeps per day: a long sleep at night and a short sleep in the early afternoon when our energy naturally dips lower than usual having a harder time concentrating. Actually lots of cultures around the world divide their sleeping patterns:
The idea of sleep in eight-hour blocks is rather recent. The world’s population sleeps in various and surprising ways. Millions of Chinese workers take a nap of an hour after lunch and other example – the daytime napping being common in Spain and Italy.
We incline to be sensitive to the microsleeps around this time — i.e. tiny moments where we nod off before shaking ourselves awake. It is our internal body clock shouting this is an ideal time going to sleep.
Although everyone has different sleep and wake up pattern to certain extent, actually we all begin as morning people and continue this pattern until about age 10. From 10–20 we start to sleep and wake up later gradually until about 20 years in age, when the pattern starts to reverse again and we start waking up earlier. Finally around age 55, we are going back to the pattern roughly the same times when we were 10 years old.
Age has a big influence on how our body clocks running and what our optimal sleep times are. Possibly we are aware with teenagers preferring to sleep in late but it turns out that it is not just teenage laziness. From age 13-21 we get up later than any other time in our lives. Teenagers possess biological tendency to sleep and wake later than other people else. This contemplates they are often struggling with the important intellective work at school during their least optimal times. A study on school students’ memory function performed in UK has discovered that students performed 9% better on the same type of memory tests in the afternoon compared to what they did in the morning.
About the best time for working it was found that the “circadian rhythms” 生理節律/晝夜節律 really influence how we work therefore we all have “peaks and troughs” 高峰和低谷 in our physical and mental capacity to get our work done. However the type of work we are doing makes a difference to which time of the day we should select to do it.
Hereinbelow are the break down:
For morning larks, they need to favor those morning hours when they are feeling more fresh to procure their most demanding, analytic work done. Using the brain to solve problems, answer questions and make decisions is best done when at the peak.
For night owls, this is obviously a much later period in the day.
Alternatively if you are trying to do creative work, you will actually have more luck when you are more tired and your brain is NOT functioning as efficiently. It seems ridiculous but actually it makes sense. It is one of the reasons why great ideas are often developed in the shower after a long day of work.
If we are tired, our brain is not functioning so perfect at screening distractions and focusing on a particular task. Equally it is also less efficient at remembering connections between ideas or concepts. These are advantageous to us when it comes to creative work which requires us to make strange connections, be open to fresh ideas and think in new ways. For such reasons a fuzzy and tired brain is much more useful to us when working in creative projects.
Insight problems involve thinking outside the box. This is where susceptibility to “distraction” can be of benefit. At off-peak times we are less focused, and may consider a broader range of information. This wider scope gives us access to more alternatives and diverse interpretations, thus fostering innovation and insight.
When selecting the time for exercise, paying attention to our body clock can also improve the results as well as the overall happiness around exercising. Physical performance is usually the best with the risk of injury the least from about 3 pm to 6 pm.
Muscle strength drifts to peak between 2 pm and 6 pm. Muscle strength in the afternoon is about 6% higher than its lowest point in the day which improves our ability to grip a dumbbell or a racquet as well as lowering the risk of injury. Another boost for physical strength comes from the lungs which function 17.6% more efficiently at 5 pm than at midday.
Blood pressure is another factor in our exercise. In the first three hours after we wake up, our blood pressure rises the most out of any point in the day. Our blood vessels expands more allowing for blood flow later in the day and our blood is not as sticky therefore we have a natural drop in blood pressure in the afternoon. In experience findings exercising in the morning was found to either increase blood pressure or not make a difference at all. However in the evening, exercise was found reducing blood pressure by 10–11%.
5. The Effect of Light on Our Body Clocks
Light is the biggest single external factor influences our internal body clocks. Each of us has his/her own internal time, ranging from a 22 hour cycle (a fast body clock, associated with the morning larks) to a 25 hour cycle (a slow body clock possessed by the night owls). The average is around 24.5 hours.
Each day the sunlight assists us adjusting the internal time cycle to synchronize it with the world’s 24-hour cycle. It works in following way;
Sunlight hits the back of our eyes and penetrates into our brains, triggering the release of chemicals onto our body clock cells. This in turn tweaks our internal time to be either slower or faster, making it exactly 24 hours.
This also indicates that the more sunlight your eyes receive during the day can influence your internal clock by slowing it down or speeding it up. Getting lots of light in the morning will expedite your body clock, helping you wake up earlier. Getting lots of light in the afternoon and around sunset will do inversely to slow down your body clock and help you staying up later into the night.
Our dependence on light keeping our body clocks synchronized with the 24 hour period is also affected by our age, similar to our sleeping patterns. As we get older, two main things occure relating to this:
- Our eyesight worsens, and we receive less light into our eyes
- Our body clock becomes less active
Both of them cause our body clocks running slightly out of sync with the world. During the night we start waking up a lot and often waking up far earlier than we would like to. It is because lack of light coming into our brains through our eyes gives a much weaker signal to our body clock cells to adjust them to a 24-hour period. Although we don’t lose any of our body clock cells, as getting older much fewer of them are actually active.
An experiment showed that by tripling the amount of light dementia and alzheimer’s patients (癡呆症 和 老年癡呆症患者) received during the day, reflected the improvements in mood, better sleeping patterns, improved intellective functions like memory and slower deteriorate of physical functions.
6. The Ideal Time to Drink
If drinking same amount of alcohol at different points in the day, you will have the same blood-alcohol level but it will affect your brain differently. In the late afternoon or early evening our body clock is at its peak, so alcohol will have a lower effect on our intellective ability.
7. The Ideal Time for Taking Medicine
In a recent study, adjusting the time of taking medicine damaged 5x fewer healthy cells and was 2x as effective at killing cancerous cells. Medicine on chemotherapy can kill healthy as well as diseased cells but the medication can be hugely affected by our body clocks. This study showed that if fewer of our healthy cells are active when the medicine is taken, it will hurt less of them and be able to target the diseased cells better.