Updated: Jan 12, 2022
Our board member Marijke, an expert on Chronobiology, was invited for the Dutch tv show ‘de Slapelozen’, translated it’s called ‘the insomniacs’. They talked about our biological clock which always ticks with a rhythm of approximately 24 hours a day and tells you when it is time to sleep. Some reasons to be unable to sleep are a disrupted clock or not listening to your clock.
Your biological clock is not the same as our regular time. The time which you see on your watch is your social clock, which is used to bring order to your day and to make appointments. But your biological clock is telling you when it is appropriate to make these appointments and when it is your biological night and you better go to sleep. The clock reacts to daylight. Light entering the eye not only allows you to see but it is finetuning your biological clock to the natural light dark-cycle. It may signal to the biological clock in your brain that it is running out of phase and should speed up or delay. By synchronizing the rhythms, light has a positive impact on your health and well-being too. That’s why it’s so important to be outside during the day so our eyes can signal the right sign to our brain. Being inside all day is often too dark which results in a disrupted clock which may make you sleepy during the day and sleepless at night.
Besides discussions about the biological clock, the TV program also interviewed people who suffer from sleep problems related to the biological clock. Like what to do when you work nightshifts, how to cope with such a demand of working against the biological clock? And what it’s like to live with a delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, the result of a disrupted clock?