Do You Know What Makes You Tick?

Published Thursday, March 11, 2010 7:58 AM

By Candie Harris

In our 24-7-365 culture, we are free to indulge a range of whims at all-night supermarkets, entertainment venues, restaurants and gyms. While running on the treadmill at 2:00 a.m., we can watch the latest news on the health hazards of working the graveyard shift and the fallout from sleep deprivation.  

The fact is, despite the lure of all-night activity, we are born to move to a particular circadian rhythm- an internal body clock that regulates the approximately 24-hour cycle of biological processes in all living beings. (The term circadian comes from Latin words that mean "around the day.") We can optimize our personal productivity and wellbeing by acquainting ourselves with our unique mode of internal operation.

Some of us are morning people. We rise early with a clear head and get a lot of good work done before most people are awake. I quickly learned that mornings were the most productive time for me, and schedule myself accordingly. Others get up every day with a dense brain fog that descended during the night. If you are foggy first thing in the morning, you are better off delaying any important tasks and decision making for at least an hour or so. Exercise is a great fog lifter. As the day progresses toward bedtime (and a regular bedtime is best ), we all move through peaks and valleys of alertness and productivity.

Whether you are an early riser or a night owl who is most productive after dark, it is important to understand what makes you tick. If you find yourself out of sync with your body clock, here are some helpful tips for trouble shooting the problem and resetting your daily routine.


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