Monday, October 30, 2006

Body Clock

We've gone back to Standard Time. If Daylight Savings Time never happened, I would be ecstatic. My body does not take easily to time changes; Standard Time is where everything feels more comfortable.

I woke up easily this morning...and feel as if I have had enough sleep. When the six AM wake-up call comes during Daylight Savings time, I have great trouble squinting awake.

Meal times are also easier for me. I am ready to eat now, when it is time to eat breakfast or dinner. That one little hour makes all the difference.

During my children's growing up years, the transition in time was difficult, when it turned to Daylight Savings Time. The alarm clock rang way too early then, and crankiness was usually the first behavior of the day.

There is a joy I feel when life returns to "normal"...when Standard Time ushers in more balance in my life. I can't explain it; I just feel better. Life fits into my body rhythms easily.

There is a fascinating look at the way the body clock works at Research! Penn State web site. According to this article, my body is my best timekeeper. At dawn, blood pressure rises...its sharpest rise...waking me, getting me up. Around noon, my liver enzymes kick into full speed ahead, in anticipation of food. I guess that's why I like brunch much better than an early breakfast.

In the evening, my pineal gland at the base of my brain begins producing melaton- in...slow- ing me down and making me sleepy. As I sleep, my body temperature drops, keeping me asleep. At dawn, as light hits the retinas...the body stops making melatonin and my temperature rises. And along with the rise in body temperature, goes the rise in blood pressure...and the whole rhythm starts again.

There are fluctuations, of course. As researchers gather more evidence, it becomes clear how complicated the body's timekeeping system becomes. There is evidence that the body works better on a 25-hour clock rather than a 24.

All I know is, I fit better into the world on Standard Time. And when they mess with that, by taking away that hour in the Spring, my body rhythm is way off. It's as if all Summer long, I am searching for that lost hour.

Over time, I've solved that issue...I tend to live in a timeless manner, as it happens. My body clock seems to be well regiment- ed; if I heed the messages sent by my body, if I become aware of its needs, I am able to function well. It is the world outside mine that calls for appointments, where a different world is measured by the clock. Some would say this is the "real world".

But I am a creature of habit...I eat regularly, sleep the hours my body tells me to, have consistent blood pressure and body temperature levels. I must be doing something right.

Especially when I'm back on Standard Time...when I've found the missing hour.


  1. My body, too, likes Standard Time better.

  2. We don't have daylight saving thank goodness as my body clock would really go haywire :)

    Now that most people are at the health studios or gyms in the evenings rather than playing sport outdoors I cannot really see the point of it at all these days.

  3. I'm with you both!

    Jackie, here in Canada, I believe the province of Saskatchewan does not change its time.

    I think the trend is to go back to Standard time...I really hope so! Changing times adds a further imbalance to the body, along with normal day-to-day stresses. It's not needed anymore.

  4. Thanks for the pumpkin seed tip :)

  5. An interesting post Marion and I learned some things from it. I too am geared to daylight which is a bit of a problem around this time of year as I want to sleep a lot. In the summertime about 5 hours when its dark is sufficient for me.

  6. What is that thing in the top picture, Marion?

  7. Seems like there are a lot of us who have trouble with time changes, Dave...I wonder when it will become obvious that changing time by an hour twice a year is no longer necessary.

    DB, the picture is of a Japanese Cormorant raft. Here is a link for a site that explains how they are used.

  8. Thanks for the link, Marion.