What time do you usually go to sleep? Is it the same time every night?
I am asleep by 10.30pm four or more nights every week. This is a goal that I’ve set for myself & I stick to in order to help me have successful & productive days as well as support my productive.
What is a Circadian Rhythm?
This is your body’s natural biological clock. Katherine Sharkey, MD, PhD, assistant professor of internal medicine & psychiatry & human behaviour at Brown University & associate director of the Sleep for Science Research Lab explains:
“The human clock is about 24 hours, thanks to Earth’s 24-hour light-dark cycle. But some people have a slightly longer natural cycle, & some are slightly shorter.”
Sharkey says, “There’s a developmental piece to this puzzle – school-age children are generally early birds, while teenagers tend to be night owls, & then as they age, adults gradually transition back into morning people.”
Early Bird or Night Owl?
So which are you? Do you tend to get up early & feel most active & productive first thing? Or are you one who tends to get a burst of energy later at night?
Good news for the early birds: “night owls tend to be more depressed, have a higher dependence on caffeine, & use alcohol more,”
Sharkey says. According to a study from the University of Toronto morning people also tend to be happier & report feeling healthier than night people.
When to Workout…
So what does all of this have to do with your workouts?
Well, once you know about your body’s rhythms you can work with this internal clock to schedule workouts to get maximum results.
In terms of your circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle) it’s best to work out earlier in the day. Between 8am & 2pm for example.
Your Cortisol levels are naturally higher (or should be) at this period of time so it would be wise to take advantage of that.
Also, as your day progresses you will begin to experience more fatigue. So in order to keep your workouts intense enough to generate results you should aim to workout as early in the day as your schedule permits.
The night-time is for relaxing and recovering.,, & the occasional wild party.
Keep up the good work.
To Your Best Health
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