Are you in tune with your body rhythms?


The body’s rhythms include sleep rhythms, fitness and food cycles and the rhythms of the internal clock. The sleep cycle includes both deep sleep and dream sleep. People should be aware of their body rhythms so that they can function better.

Does your class resemble Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Have zombies and twitchers replaced energetic teens? Why?

Maybe you and your classmates don’t understand your body rhythms. That can cost you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Learning to dance to these rhythms can improve your overall performance and your life.

Some body rhythms are fairly obvious. Breathing, heartbeats, and menstrual cycles are body rhythms.

But there are many others we don’t notice. They’re like invisible directors shouting “Action!” They tell us when to eat, sleep, wake, and exercise.



Sleep Rhythms

Most of us abuse our sleep rhythms. Adequate sleep is as essential to our overall well-being as exercise and healthy meals. It keeps body and mind working together efficiently.

Sleep alternates between 90-minute cycles of deep sleep and dream sleep. Both are important.

Deep sleep restores us. It prompts physical growth and works to repair physical ills. It also keeps us balanced mentally.

Dream sleep spurs brain development and learning. It usually occurs late in the sleep cycle. People who cut their sleep short therefore hinder their learning processes.

Experts agree that most teenagers need at least nine hours of sleep a night to function well. That’s right nine. Ditto for college students. Yet few teens get anywhere near this much sleep.

You’re often overloaded. Outside activities, studying, and part-time jobs can cut into your sleep time.

Depriving yourself of enough sleep is like driving without enough gas. Soon you’re running on empty. You can’t concentrate, your energy evaporates, and you get nowhere.

Speaking of driving, don’t do it when you’re sleep-deprived. You can nod off behind the wheel. And don’t even consider drinking. One dose of alcohol can make a tired person drunk. Most teens involved in alcohol-related accidents are also sleep-deprived.

Getting enough sleep is hard. It means establishing a regular bedtime and wake time and sticking with them, even on weekends. It means rethinking priorities. You may need to drop some activities or cut back on that after-school job. But the way you’ll feel after enough sleep is worth some sacrifices. And I know a machine helps you to improve sleep is the best inversion table.

Did you know that a lower body temperature upon awakening is normal? Your temperature starts out low, rises during the day, then drops again at night. That drop helps us to fall asleep.

Higher temperatures slow our perception of time. Late afternoon’s higher body temperatures make that last class period seem endless. Fevers make time drag, too. This might explain why people whose “thermostats” run higher than average are impatient.

Fitness and Food Cycles

Fitness and Food Cycles


How and when should we exercise? Health experts recommend we all do some aerobic exercises like cycling, skating, swimming, running, and speed walking.

These exercises give your heart and lungs a workout. According to body rhythm scientists, doing them in late afternoon and early evening may be best. The heart and lungs work best at that time of day. We’re also better coordinated late in the day, so we exercise harder and probably benefit more from it then. Don’t try to exercise hard right after a meal, though. Wait at least 45 minutes.

Remember those 90-minute sleep cycles? We daydream around every 90 minutes. The stomach contracts every 90 minutes, too. The resulting hunger pangs remind us to eat regularly.

Good breakfasts lessen the munchies’ power over us. Incidentally, we’re more likely to burn off calories consumed in the morning. So hearty breakfasts, light lunches, and lighter dinners are likely to help keep weight where you want it.

Schedule Shifts

Have you ever experienced “jet lag”? It’s the confusion felt when the internal clock is out of sync with the surroundings. Flying across time zones and working rotating shifts cause jet lag. It makes adapting to the new schedule very difficult.

Sunlight can help. Taking a daytime overseas flight and landing in daylight can prevent this phenomenon.

Research shows that workers whose shifts change weekly are constantly our of sync. They adjust much better to shifts that change a minimum of every three weeks. They also function better when shifts rotate clockwise. Apparently “body clocks” reset more easily in a forward direction.

Tune In!

We’re learning more about our tricky body rhythms all the time. Meanwhile, learn to listen to them. Tuning in helps tone up body and mind, making us the best that we can be.

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