How to Time Your Day for Success
What time does your body clock say?
If you’re a busy mom – or anyone who achieves a lot – you may be used to pushing yourself hard, even through periods of exhaustion. You may know that you’re a high energy person in the morning or a super-efficient night owl. If you feel your energy change the day, you may assume it’s because you couldn’t sleep, you’re working too hard, or your blood sugar is low. And those factors may indeed be at play.
But there’s another reason, called your circadian rhythm. And if you’re not tuned in to this natural body rhythm – or those of the people around you – it’s time to put this idea to work. For example, if you’re a parent, you may know that kids tend to melt down in the late afternoon. If you know there is a biological reason for that, you can plan around it.
All living things have a built-in 24-hour pattern of activity. Working off cues such as light or the timing of meals, this rhythm regulates everything in our body, from when hormones peak and we feel sleepy to how high our blood pressure is — even the time of day we have the most muscle strength.
But there’s more… Ever wonder how you can feel sleepy, but it eventually passes and you feel more energized? Within our circadian rhythm, we also have predictable 90- to 120-minute energy cycles, from sleepy to alertness.
How to rock around your clock
1. Map your energy rhythms. Observe how you feel throughout the day and note your personal peaks and valleys. (A shot of E6 can help you move through the lows, because let’s face it, the world can’t always wait!)
2. Plan your challenges: If you know you’re a morning person, put your heavy-lifting tasks at the top of your day. Schedule breaks for when you know your energy is low. You can eve plan meetings at work or activities with kids around natural body rhythms — and make things timelier for everybody.
Here are some more tips on resetting your body clock and putting it to work for you, from RealAge.