Appreciating the Body Clock

Appreciating 2016-01-20 – Talking about Body Clock and the importance of sleep cycles. Also discussing my relationship with sleep.

Every week I take a concept or event so I can say good things about it. Even negative aspects can be helpful sometimes. Welcome to Appreciating.

As I write this at 2 AM, I feel the irony of my actions in my torso. My appendages are protesting, asking for the sweet relief of sleep.

Recap

In this week’s #MicroblogMondays, I promised to talk about pros and cons of body clock rigidity, including making tasks easier by habituating them. In #TalkbackTuesday, Raunaq talked about sleeping early and getting exercise however you can.

I got some great motivation from you guys about making and sticking to a posting schedule, so thanks for that! In particular – the featured Comment of the Week is from Traci York of www.traciyork.com, who says:

"I print out a blank calendar page, and plan my posts (as much as possible) at the beginning of each month. It’s a great way to stay on track. I wish you continued success with your posting schedule!"

Feature

I’ve had the idea in my drafts for a year now. At some point, I realized how I’d changed, in the context that I resisted a fixed schedule and pattern earlier, when I was younger, but that I crave it now. Chalk the resistance down to teenage rebellion? Chalk the craving down to early onset old-age?

For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, there is some very real science about our body – that it has a sort of biological clock, also known as circadian rhythm, that tells it when to fall asleep and when to be awake.

Body clock diagram | Wikipedia
The Circadian Rhythm cycle

What makes it important is that it is seriously powerful. Sleep is an essential part of your system; it is why we spend one-third of our lives doing it. It heals, repairs and re-energizes the body. In particular, REM sleep is the stage where your mind dreams and your body learns not to be tired. For more details about REM sleep, I suggest reading up on Stages of Sleep. It’s fascinating and important information to know.

It is also seriously easy to mess up your body clock. Your rhythm is affected by light and darkness, eating habits, exposure to screens and anything which disturbs your sleep. In turn, a disbalanced body clock can cause irregularities in your sleep and feelings of rest and freshness, your chemical and hormonal balance, your temperature, and even your appetite.

My Relationship with Sleep

When I was younger, I used to look at the body clock science with disdain. I enjoyed the feeling of rebellion from staying up all night, even if I did nothing entertaining or productive. It’s not like I pulled ten all-nighters a month, but the occasional one was common.

That changed very quickly when I hit my twenties. I literally lost the ability to stay awake twenty four hours, pulling through the night only to fall asleep at 7 AM on several occasions. It’s not a healthy practice, because you do really sleep better in darkness than in light, and it completely throws off your eating schedule, not to mention you waste good working time.Body clock - tired | I woke up like dis meme

It’s scary how my productivity is directly linked to my sleep – the dependence is so strong that it hits like a truck if it goes wrong.

On the flip side, when you have it under control, it sets your day straight. You automatically feel sleepy and alive at fixed times, and you feel hungry at appropriate times so you can have proper meals instead of junk.

I love that I’m taking 2016 head-on with my Year Plan (Maybe I’ll explain in a future post. 13 resolutions! ), and writing again, among so many other things. But in order to keep my rhythm strong, and hence my behaviour sustainable, I might have to follow Traci’s advice. For now, I proceed.

Were you impacted by any of the information in this article? Do you have a story about your relationship with sleep? Tell me in the comments below!

Thank you for reading! Next, either check out the accompanying #MicroblogMondays or #TalkbackTuesday posts.
You can also pick a category in the Library or read last week’s Appreciating Right Here.