What Is Chronobiology

Some people are morning people or ‘larks’ – others are evening people or ‘owls.’ This tendency to have a peak alertness either earlier or later in the day is known as chronology. Your unique chronobiology is influenced by your genetic makeup and environmental cues called zeitgebers. About 10% of the population are larks, 20% are night owls, and intermediate, with a circadian rhythm that can be shifted by external cues that you give to your body. Everyone can shift their circadian rhythm to some degree with these zeitgebers. The evolutionary basis for this relates to always ensuring that a member of the tribe is awake to protect the camp. Unfortunately our modern society was forged out of industrialism in a way that is unjustly preferential towards early rises, with strict morning work times.

For an in-depth understanding of chronobiology inertia check out an interview Dr. Daniel Gartenberg gave to Quartz entitled “Why eight hours a night isn’t enough, according to a leading sleep scientist.”