According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the ‘biological clock’ in the human body is an intrinsic clock that ticks at the cellular level. This clock can be called as the timekeeper for the various forms of behaviour, physiological states, and functions carried out by each cell (1). The body clock or biological clock is also referred to as the circadian clock.
“Almost every cell in our body has a circadian clock,” said Salk Institute circadian researcher, Sachin Panda to Quanta Magazine. “It helps every cell to figure out when to rest, when to repair DNA, or to replicate DNA,” he added (2). By regulating one’s eating, sleeping, and exercising schedules, one can achieve optimum well-being. Thus, being in sync with your body clock is crucial to having a healthy body and a sound mind. Read more to know learn how to master your body clock!
The Early Morning Hour (6 AM To 9 AM)
Most people feel drowsy and sluggish in this part of the day. Slow metabolism and constricted blood vessels are the reasons behind the early morning blues. Taking a cold shower can put the body in a state of shock, thus reviving it and shrugging off that drowsiness.
Vigorous exercising may not be a great idea as it leads to a steep rise in one’s blood pressure. Interestingly this is the part of the day when heart attacks are most frequent. In case you are on a weight-watching regime, get on the weighing scale during this time for accurate results.
The Mid-Morning Hour (9 AM – 12 PM)
Most people are high on physical energy, high on mental concentration, and highly creative as well focussed in this part of the day. This time is great to take up that pending math homework, write, read or even compose a piece of music. Grab this period to do tasks that need your sharpest intellect rather than wasting it on mundane chores.
Pick this time slot for that upcoming interview to put your best foot forward. Since the interview panel would also be high on energy and concentration, it would turn out to be an interesting rendezvous. Body balance and muscular flexibility are best in this time frame.
The Afternoon Hour (12 PM – 2 PM)
This time is to fuel one’s body with a hearty and healthy lunch. The body can turn food into energy well at this time of the day.
The ‘Coffee Break’ Time (2 PM – 3 PM)
Most people feel a drop in their energy and concentration levels after a hearty afternoon meal. The slow pace of the body’s metabolism causes this feeling. It is time to get up and take a short walk or, even better, grab a cup of masala chai or coffee!
The Best Time To Nap (3 PM – 4 PM)
Your boss wouldn’t agree but this time is the best for a short and energizing nap. Taking a short snooze can do wonders that a cup full of caffeine can’t. So, go ahead and treat yourself to some siesta!
The Evening Hour (4 PM – 7 PM)
As you begin winding up a busy working day, remind yourself to work out as it is most beneficial in this period. It has been observed that performance of athletes rises by almost 10% at this time. Cardiovascular and muscular strength is at the best between 5 PM – 6 PM, which is optimum for cardio and weight training exercises.
Blood circulation is also at its best, as the dilation of blood vessels is at its highest at this hour. Lungs too work at their highest efficiency, which means it is indeed the best time to sweat it out. Very few heart attacks have been recorded at this hour as compared to the early morning hour. Flexibility is highest too. I am sure you don’t need more reasons to hit the gym at this hour, do you?
The Dinner Hour (7 PM – 10 PM)
One must ideally have dinner during this period. Foods rich in fat and spice must ideally be avoided for consuming such foods may disturb one’s sleep. At this point in time, the liver starts to shut down. Hence consuming heavy carbs at this hour would be a sure shot way to increase that bulge. An early dinner followed by a warm shower between 9 PM – 10 PM is the best way to relax those tired muscles.
The Late-Night Hour (10 PM – 12 PM)
Time to snuggle in bed for most! This is when one’s body temperature drops and the hormones that induce sleep rises. Most of us will be happily dreaming at this hour and sleep will have completely taken over us.
If a person is unable to sleep now (for some reason), it is advisable to take a generous amount of morning sun for better health.
The Hour Past Midnight (12 AM – 3 AM)
It would be abnormal if one doesn’t feel tired and sleepy at this hour unless it is because of jet lag. Most people are in deep sleep and it would be a very bad idea to drive at this hour.
The Wee Hours (3 AM – 6 AM)
Metabolic activities are at the lowest point at this hour. Blood pressure is at an all-time low while the skin cells get repaired in this hour. In fact, this would easily be dubbed as the ‘beauty sleep’ hour! Most normal deliveries are recorded at this hour.
The above-mentioned steps do not translate to superhuman efforts for sure. All one needs to do is to stick to schedules and listen to one’s body. Let us take baby steps to keep up with our body clock and live healthier, smarter, and energetic lives.