How Sunlight Connects With Your Body Clock

by CCB Today | Thursday, Dec 8, 2016 | 198 views

Body ClockIt may be hard to believe when you’re told that productivity is inherent in everyone. All it takes is enough knowledge of how the circadian rhythm (aka body clock) works. Simply put, the circadian rhythm is a regular ebb and flow in your ability to feel alert or sleepy. It’s also evident that productivity depends heavily on whether you’re alert enough.

There is another fact that affects circadian rhythms, and it’s a major one: sunlight. Maybe it’s about time that those commercial window blinds from companies such as Kensington are opened and closed at the right time.

Inner Workings

The circadian rhythm is born of a collection of various chemicals in the brain. As they interact with each other, they create a chemical change. This, in turn, ‘replicates’ the effect of a clock. The problem is that the length of this clock’s day cycle doesn’t always agree with how long a day on Earth is (24 hours). At times, the length of a body clock’s day is longer than 24 hours. This is what creates morning persons and night owls.

A certain level of alertness and productivity links back to this. It’s unrealistic for teachers or employers to expect their subordinates to be at peak performance all day, given the variations in circadian rhythms. Peak levels of alertness and productivity take time to achieve — several hours at most — and the peak suffers a decline just a few hours later. Peak energy normally occurs in the mid to late mornings, and the decline comes at 3pm. Alertness increases again to a second peak at about 6pm, and decreases for the rest of the evening.

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To maintain its rhythm (and jumpstart the process), the body clock requires sunlight. This is evident during times when you’d automatically wake up without an alarm clock. As soon as sunlight hits your eyes, you’re awake. This is further augmented by genetic factors. That said, a healthy dose of light stimulation is enough to maintain a specific rhythm and keep the body from drifting to sleepiness; not to mention a lack of productivity.

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