Rhythms of life

Body clocks are the biological rhythms that make us feel, at different times, tired, hungry, energetic, or sexy.  They influence when we think best, when we get the most out of exercise, the times of the day when we are most vulnerable to infection and when we are best able to fight it off.  

They are also the chief cause of that annoying phenomenon called jet lag, the inability to fall asleep at night when we have just jetted in from another time zone.  Instead, our bodies keep acting as if they were still back where they started, making us hungry and sleepy when everybody else is doing something else.

These rhythms are called circadian rhythms, and are based on biological clocks inside all our major organs.  Our eyes are a major source of information which our bodies use to set its clocks.

Research exploring these rhythms suggests that much of modern life violates our best rhythms.  Ideally, we should be doing brain work before lunch, exercise in the late afternoon, eat just a little for our evening repast, and to avoid shift work altogether.

However, these suggestions suit what might be called the average person.  For people who aren’t average, whose body clocks aren’t set in exactly the same way, their advice might be a little different.

It does suggest, however, that each of us would benefit from observing and paying attention to our particular biological rhythms.



About Terry Sissons

Terry Sissons is the author of The Big Bang to Now: All of Time in Six Chunks, and this blog is a dialogue about the universe and what’s happened in the last 13 billions years.
This entry was posted in a scientific theory examined, humans, primates, and other life on earth and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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