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How to reset your body clock

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

There are many reasons why you might want to reset your natural body clock. You may have started a new job where you have to get up a lot earlier, or you may have embarked upon a fitness programme and need to get to the gym at 5 AM. Whatever your reason, here is a scientifically tested method that should work for you in under 24 hours.

Research biologist Clifford Saper, was interviewed at a seminar on body rhythms and I watched the interview with great interest. Although there were many things he spoke about which were a little over my head to do with brain chemistry and the nervous system, he ended up providing a very simple method that resets the bodyclock for mammals, including humans.

His theory is proven and not just an idea. It is based on studying different species of mammals, from mice to bats to humans. Firstly, he explaimed in the interview that an animal's first priority is essentially not starving to death. Starvation is the most common form of death in the animal kingdom. Much more common than disease or predation. So an animal's whole way of life is geared to eating when food is available. A small animal can starve to death within 2 to 3 days, so switching its body clock in order to change its feeding habits is a priority if need be.

Saper explained that a short period of starvation of around 16 hours is enough to trigger a change in the bodyclock. If you want to apply this to yourself here is how you do it.

First of all, have nothing to eat for 16 hours before you need to get up. So if you need to get up at 5 AM, eat your last meal at about 1 PM the following day. Set your alarm clock because you probably won't wake naturally this time anyway. Once you are awake, make sure that you eat a calorie dense meal within 10 minutes. Saper recommended something quite rich in protein, carbohydrates and fat such as a large peanut butter sandwich. But anything containing a decent amount of all three macronutrients should do the trick. You don't have to pig out but it has to be a meal and not a stack. If you're not used to eating breakfast you are going to have to force this particular one down on this morning. Once your bodyclock is switched over to the new timing you can skip or delay breakfast.

I tried this recently and can tell you it does work surprisingly well. My reasons for changing my bodyclock were to train at the gym before I went to work. I wanted to get my exercise as a priority in my life but not let it interfere with what I had to do in business. I did not normally eat breakfast until around 11 o'clock when I used to wake up at 7 AM. But it was not too difficult to chow down the peanut butter sandwich. In fact I had peanut butter on toast which was a bit nicer.

The hardest initial thing was not eating anything from 1 PM until 5 AM. I kept drinking hot drinks and herbal teas and that seemed to keep me going and relax me enough so that I was able to sleep quite well. I went to bed at my normal time of around midnight. The alarm clock went off at 5 AM and I felt tired but not too bad. The crazy thing was the next day I woke up about 3 minutes before the alarm went off at 5 AM! And it has been the same all week long now.

A few years back I also tried to train in the mornings and had real trouble changing my sleeping patterns in an attempt to train at 6 AM. I just couldn't switch my bodyclock over. But I had never tried this method before. Give it a go and I think you'll find it works for you too. You can watch the interview with Clifford Saper here.



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