Zeitgebers = time keepers.
The word makes me think of Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas.
Specifically, zeitgebers are those external cues that synchronize our body’s internal clocks to the 24-hour day such as light exposure and temperature. Left to ourselves, without those external cues, the human body will begin to operate on a 25.8 hour cycle.
You know how scientists reported the loss of a few milliseconds after the earthquake in Chile a few years ago? Maybe, over the course of the centuries, with all the earthquakes that have occurred around the world, we’ve lost more than an hour! Just a thought. It would explain why we all wish we had an extra hour or two in our days to get things done.
My zeitgebers have gone crazy. One week I wake up at 3 a.m. every day and can’t get back to sleep. I’m not ever sure why I try to go back to sleep, except that I feel like I’m supposed to be sleeping because it’s the expected thing to do. Then for a week or so I sleep soundly until after 8 o’clock. That bothers me because 8 o’clock is just much too late to get up in the morning and get everything accomplished. *sigh*
It’s that darn “should on yourself” thing again. I think we’ve become so programmed to obey all the shoulds we end up doing battle with our own bodies. Here are some classic examples:
1. Eat three square meals a day.
2. Clean your plate.
3. Get a solid eight hours of sleep every night.
4. Drink eight glasses of water a day.
5. Get 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
And then some new study comes out and changes it all around. Now we’re supposed to eat six times a day in lesser quantities, and we might need even more than eight hours of sleep, and then there’s the whole water debate. And now they are telling us we need at least an hour of exercise to maintain health, muscle mass, and control our weight.
The animal used for a model in studies of ultradian rhythms (those cyclical reactions that are shorter than 24 hours) is this little fella – er – it.
|CrawlingCelegans.gifCrawling C. elegans hermaphrodite worm|
(Just had to share that with ya.)
What if, instead of trying to mash our individually designed and created minds and bodies into one uniform program, we simply started listening for our own cues? You know, the little voice that whispers, “You don’t have to clean your plate. You’re full.” And the one that gives us permission to go take a nap in the afternoon. And with the spirit of God on the inside of us, we can hear cues for every area of life that will be to our benefit.
What if we stopped arguing with our personal zeitgebers and began to cooperate with our bodies’ natural rhythms? Marching to the beat of our own internal drums, so to speak?
Would it create chaos and anarchy? Or would it set us free?