Recently, U.S. scientists Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young received the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work uncovering the mechanisms behind the biological clock. In short, that clock is the reason we’re awake when it’s light and sleep while it’s dark. Unless we ignore it of course.
I didn’t need scientists to tell me that. I am very aware of my biological clock. Everyone closer to me than a stranger knows I’m not a morning person. Like. At. All. I know this so well because society forced me to ignore that clock too often in the past. And I hated every bit of it. Empty promises were made that I will get used to it.
The older I got the less I accepted the fact that getting up early is the only right way to start the day. It made me cranky, tired, lazy, ugly and what not. Even worse were the days when I slept less than 8 hours. Fortunately, my work is not strict with the working clock. We work flex. I start somewhere between 9 and 9:30AM. That’s pretty late when you keep in mind that it takes me 10 minutes from my front door to my desk.
I’m not lazy.
Daily fitness at 9PM? No problem. Cleaning at 11PM? No problem, either. Anything physically active during the day that is not part of the morning is no problem. However, today, I figured that doing something that needs focus during these later hours is a problem. Like drawing, yoga, medication or writing. I just couldn’t do it. My thoughts were all over the place. Still hyped by the day. I started to think that those activities aren’t my thing. That I just like the idea of it. But that logic just didn’t make any sense, either. I knew I jumped to conclusions.
Last week at 6:30AM it clicked.
The conviction I’m not a morning person was a false assumption. How can I wake up so early by myself if that was true? I slept well. It also happens often. There was something else going on. Why am I awake at 7:30AM, but it’s still better to not talk to me ’till 10AM?
These tree Nobel prize winners didn’t just figure out that there actually is a biological clock telling us when to sleep and when not. Energy and hormone levels, behavior, and even body temperature change in time with the circadian rhythm of that clock. All the time during the day. Meaning: The clock doesn’t just regulate when you sleep or not. It also regulates what your body wants to do at what time. Conclusion: I didn’t listen to my body. My body apparently didn’t want to sleep longer. It definitely didn’t want to go for a run. And it for sure didn’t want to talk to anyone.
My body needed something else! Time to ease into the day; Time to process all the thoughts that got organized during the night. My body wanted me to take advantage of no distractions for a moment. That time in the morning was my time to write.
I guess that al those attempts to write a blog failed not because it’s not my thing. They failed because my timing was off.
Listen more to your body. Listen less to what other people say is right for your body.