What the !@#$ is Social Jet-Lag? What the !@#$ is a chronobioligist? I’m a sucker for such cool terms. My technical mind was “drooling”. I really wanted to get to the meat of this book. I really wanted to know about sleep. I’ve had lots of trouble with it. Others dear to me have had trouble with it. I was very curious. Why do some people sleep late? Others early? Some long? Some short? What’s really natural? What’s not?
The brainpickings blog post Internal Time: The Science of Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired « Brain Pickings is very thorough and captures the detail in this book. It is worth a read. The concepts are very provocative. But sometimes blog posts are too dense for me. Sometimes I’ve got to read the book to really get it. This is one of those books. There is so much good stuff in this book and the author Till Roenneberg tries very hard to make it “popular science”. He’s done a pretty good job at presenting his work for lay people. I think the problem is that this book contradicts so much conventional wisdom. It’s like everything I knew about my bodies’ clock was wrong.
This book goes way beyond what I thought I wanted to know. It is amazing stuff. You can try to dig in via the brain pickings blog. But I’m guessing that the graphs will look cool and whet your appetite to really get the message of the book.
The big message is that my “Internal Time Clock” is extremely important, it is part of me (like an arm), it may differ a lot from others, and it changes significantly as I age. My “Internal Time Clock” may not match the “External Time Clock” that I am trying to live by. I may be many hours out of synch. This lack of synchronization may be from the hours required by my job or even something as simple as “Daylight Savings Time”. That is not good, it’s called – Social Jet Lag. My “Internal Time Clock” manages the timing of my bio-chemistry, or manages my “chronobiology”. Fascinating. Important.
( It would be cool if Jonah Lehrer took a stab at this material for a lay audience.)