We’re about to lose an hour thanks to daylight savings time (seriously, why do we still do that?!). You’re so lucky if you live in Hawaii or Arizona and skip the whole time changing nonsense altogether. This time change isn’t just annoying because you’re used to getting up at a certain time; it’s actually not natural to suddenly change the time you get up and go to bed. It’s hard on your body because you get into a rhythm and your body gets used to sleeping at a specific time.
This is due to our circadian rhythms. We all have a 24-hour biological clock that regulates our sleeping and waking times.
Within our circadian rhythm, we have smaller Ultradian rhythms. This cycle of time gives us 90-120 minutes of focused time and about 15 minutes of less focused time, where it will be hard to concentrate or have much energy. Ultradian rhythms coordinate complex patterns of chemical communication that occurs between your mind, heart, senses, and body. Through this cycle, nature sends us messages telling us when it’s time to take a break.
If you’re a busy executive or business owner when you feel that afternoon slump, it’s not uncommon to reach for a quick pick me up. Maybe your vice is another cup of joe, a cigarette, or time-wasting activities such as taking a personal phone call. Unfortunately, when we do this, we’re ignoring our body’s need to take a break, and we flood our body with fatigue toxins and stress hormones.
We do this in hopes of getting a second wind so we can continue to work. We skip our lunch break, order Postmates, skip the workout, and deprive ourselves of sleep. But you’re never going to be fully alert by doing this, and you’re going to end up burning yourself out and hurting your health in the process.
And by the way… you’re not actually more productive by doing this. You’re working through your body’s natural cycle, so you’re never fully alert and focused.
We’ve learned through research that by taking advantage of the natural downtime our ultradian rhythms give us, we’ll reap physical and mental health benefits in addition to the extra energy you’re going to feel. You’ll be able to achieve peak performance by staying in tune with your body’s rhythms.
Unfortunately, you can’t stop daylight savings from happening. BUT you can boost your energy naturally throughout the day to help with it, and we want to help you with that. You don’t need to take a 15-minute break every hour, but a 10-minute break every couple of hours will speed up your work and increase your energy. There are essential aspects of your breaks that will maximize your ability to work at a renewed level.
Each weekday in March, we’ll be sharing quick ways to get more energy throughout the day. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to get those tips!