Fifty Plus (50+) - Can You Change Your Bio-Rhythems?
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I've always been a night person and even though I can make it to work in the morning, its never been something that came easy. Thank you Lord for caffeine.
To try to escape the GA heat, I have been trying to ride in the morning around 8am. I get up between 6:30 and 7:00, eat breakfast, have a cup of coffee and stretch....then go ride. However, I just never feel good and energetic even after I am well into a ninety minute ride. Although this mornings temp was 70 rather than 90...I was always conscious of the fact that everything felt forced and out of place. My normal energy is afternoons and evenings.
So...am I just a creature of habit or is there something to this concept of Bio-rhythms...and can I change mine?
06-15-11, 12:24 PM
Mine changes with the Season of the year. I have always been a morning person but the sun comes through the window and I am awake. At this time of the year I am often having a coffee in the garden at 4 am. But come winter and I struggle to awake with two hours of darkness after the alarm goes off.
06-15-11, 02:29 PM
My energy levels are based solely on temperature. Above 80º and I don't even want to get out of the house. I will admit though there is definitely a mental component to how I feel. I can psyche myself up for just about anything, but it takes more effort. Maybe that burns a few more Calories? lol
06-15-11, 02:38 PM
Bio rhythms schmyotrhythms :)
You are talking about circadian rhythms actually, bio-rhythms are something completely different and nonsensical. There may be some advice out there on changing your circadian rhythms if you search on the right term. If you search on bio-rhythms you most likely will get a bunch of new age theories about how your life's state at any given time is determined by the precise moment of your birth and some underlying oscillations in biological functions that never very in frequency by even a tiny fraction of a percent from one person to another or over the length of your life or with your general health and environmental factors. How plausible is that? Personally I don't care what time of day it is, I function pretty much the same so I can't give you any direct advice.
06-15-11, 02:58 PM
My daily energy curve is similar to yours. Wish I was a morning person and envy those who are, but most days I don't feel like doing anything energetic, really, until late in the morning. FWIW, the only way I find I can change it is through strict training- start the new schedule beforehand and strictly adhere to it. I've had to do this to adapt to occasional stretches of night and swing shift work during my career. Even when I've adapted, though, my energy curve still follows the old pattern of not being at its best until several hours after I've finished sleep. And when I stop the "training", my body wants to revert to its default schedule pretty quickly.
I too seem to have never grown out of that teenage up-until-dawn-sleep-until-noon night-owl phase. For decades I fought against it, losing every single time. Finally I accepted that I am what I am, and got a job that starts at 1:30 in the afternoon. I can get up at the crack of noon if I want.
Having had decades of experience, and failure, at trying to become a morning person, I found it much, much easier to simply acclimate to the heat. Takes me about a week.
06-15-11, 06:47 PM
Morning person here. I never use an alarm clock (except for perhaps getting up at 3 am for a flight). Up by 5:30 (or earlier) and out, raring to go, by 6:00 or so. In bed by 10:00 pm.
I love the quiet of the morning and watching the su nrise.
But, I have never succeeded in becoming a "night person." I think you are destined to stay a night person forever. Perhaps our paths will cross at 3 am some morning - youj going to bed, me getting up?
My daugher-in-law is the same, and we exchange early am emails.
06-15-11, 07:01 PM
My circadian rhythms move around as necessary. I can go for months waking at 2:00 A.M. to head out to work without using an alarm clock just as easily as I can stay up until 2:00 A.M. regularly. Of course, I can't do both of those during the same week. The only time frame I can't conquer is the hour before dawn. I can function then, but it is a fight.
Thanks for the input guys. And thanks khutch for the definition of Bio-rhythms vs Circadian.
06-18-11, 04:30 AM
My rhythms have changed over the years, mainly due to work and parenting demands. I was a night owl through college (absolutely HATED 8 am classes and avoided them like the plague) and my first jobs were afternoon into evening schedules. In those days I liked my newspaper schedule the best (1-10 pm). If I woke before 10:00 am it was rare. Now I wake up around 5:30, most days without the alarm clock, and find it almost impossible to stay awake past 11 pm (can't tell you how many New Year's Eve ball drops I've snoozed through). However, I find when I'm on vacation that things tend to revert to the old rhythms, so maybe I'm an early bird now out of habit. (One factor I failed to mention is the need for caffeine. I drink about a pot of coffee every morning - also habit, probably). There's a saying that we're all creatures of habit, and I think that's true in many ways. The human body is incredibly adaptable - just look at what can be accomplished, endurance-wise, on a bicycle. And mental attitude/determination is always a factor. If you're willing, almost anything is possible. I'm curious about what will happen when I retire and no longer need to awaken so early - i.e. will I revert to the old rhythms or continue to be an early riser? Only time will tell. If BF is still around then, I'll resurrect this thread!
From my understanding of circadian rhythms they are responsive to environmental cues, light being the most important one. A second cue is food. I can attest to food being one of the ones that made difference in my morning rides. I ride much more easily, with greater energy, and more positive affect when I don't eat breakfast first. Rather, I take small snacks and eat them along the route (for rides over 2 hours in length).
You might want to wade through this website: http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/C/Circadian.html#The_Circadian_Clock_in_Mammals
I am afraid you are stuck with yourself. My rhythms are similar to yours. Only rarely can I rise really early and do some kind of physical activity and feel right.
06-18-11, 04:28 PM
I've struggled with this as long as I can remember. It is really difficult to get into a routine of waking up early (5:30) and I'm still worthless until after noon. Caffeine and morning exercise helps. I almost never awaken feeling rested. After a few days of getting up early, the accummulated sleep deficit is too much and I'll sleep through the alarm, which makes it even harder to get to sleep that night. If I stay up late one night, it throws everything off balance again. And if I'm late to work, then I end up staying at work too late at night, which makes the problem worse.
I've tried putting a spotlight aimed at my bed on a timer. It does help get up in the morning when being out of bed is more important than being rested. Normal workdays, it is more important that I am productive and alert while I'm at work rather than struggling too groggy to focus and making mistakes.
When I was swimming competitively, most of my championship meets were in the early morning. I wonder how much faster my best times would have been if we had afternoon meets.
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