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Reset your internal clock and improve your mood

October 17, 2012

Our bodies are attuned to the world around us.  We have evolved to sleep, wake, and function over a 24-hour period, as the earth revolves and day turns to night.

But what happens when our internal clock gets out of whack with the external clock of the environment?  A significant impact on your mood can be observed, as psychologists Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd point out in their book “The Time Paradox”:

“You become mentally dull, irritable, clumsy; you may sleep excessively or not at all…even though your internal clock does not need winding, you can use a host of strategies to help adjust it to the 24/7 world.  The Internet, TV, twenty-four-hour stores, international travel and ordinary hundred-watt lightbulbs constantly push and pull at the hands of your internal body clock.”

The solution?  Power naps.  Surgeons, pilots and people working in other professions where lives are on the line improve their alertness and performance with 20-minute naps: they can increase alertness by 50 percent and performance by 34 percent.

If you’re engaged in shift work, odd hours, or a lot of travelling, take the time to reset your clock.  It should work wonders for your wellbeing.

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