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Top 10 Things You Never Imagined Were True about Your Internal Clock
Although it feels like you just went through the “clock change” thing a few weeks ago, it will be coming back at you before you know it! Even though we change our little digital clocks forward or back as needed, your body doesn’t really understand that whole clock thing. This is due to a little device inside our heads called our internal clock.
OK, so technically the name for it is our circadian rhythms, but you know what we mean. Internal clocks are a series of internal variations that are controlled by our brain on a roughly 24 hour cycle. This clock is extremely sensitive to light and dark. It doesn’t care too much what our mind tells us (“Hey, its 5 AM, time to get up! I know the sun isn’t up, who cares?!”) but it cares very much about the sun (or any other type of light) and darkness. Those are your body’s clues for when to sleep, when to wake up, when to eat, and a whole host of other things.
Scientists really don’t have a complete understanding about how our internal clock works, but they do know a few things, and most of them are downright interesting, not to mention revealing.
Keep reading and found out everything you never knew about that invisible clock inside your noggin. You will be fascinated if nothing else!
1. You can give your body jet lag and never step foot on a plane
Most people think “jet lag” means what the word says, but you don’t have to travel through a couple time zones to trick your brain into thinking you are in another part of the world. Just stay up late on Friday and Saturday nights, then sleep in late Saturday and Sunday mornings. Sleep past noon if you really love that jet lag feeling, because that’s all it takes. That’s why so many people are groggy and irritable Monday morning. Some people call this “social jet lag,” and that’s a pretty accurate name. Want to avoid that Monday morning “time hang over”? Keep your weekend hours pretty close to your regular hours. Getting a good eyeful of sunlight in the morning will help to wake you up, as well as get your clock back on the right track.
2. Your Produce Also has a Circadian Clock
It sounds funny, but it’s true. Just because someone picks, plucks, or cuts your produce, it’s still alive. Your produce has its own clock and it keeps on ticking even after it’s sitting in your refrigerator. One study done in 2013 showed that fruits and veggies responded to their environment for days and that by using light they could cause veggies to make more of the cancer fighting antioxidants during certain times of the day. This study was done at Rice University.
3. Artificial Lights are Messing Up Your Clock
As we said before, your body doesn’t really care what time your cell phone says it is; when it’s dark, it starts getting ready to go nighty night. Artificial light from a lamp, cell phone, laptop, or television screen tells your body that it is still light outside so going to sleep is out of the question. How many people do you know post on FB or send you a text message saying that they simply can’t sleep? Next time, tell them to turn off the phone! Technology has removed our body’s understanding of a 24 hour cycle. Read also 7 reasons to turn offf your netflix and just go to sleep.
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