The current situation has seen many people’s lives and routines change. What are the challenges to maintaining a healthy biological clock?
The same principles apply to everyday life, but in lockdown we lose some of our normal cues, for example it can be easy to forget which day of the week it is (!), and our routine changes. Also, our mealtimes move out of sync and we might sleep more - which can be a good thing, but sleeping at different times to usual can also affect our biological clock, so it’s important to stress the importance of having a regular bedtime and for the riders, trying to keep regular meal and training patterns as we would normally do.
What else can people do to maintain that balance?
During lockdown, many of us may lose our normal daily routine, which has the potential to impact on our biological clocks and health. Our body clocks are set by three things; light exposure, the food we eat and physical activity.
Exposing yourself to some bright light early in the day can help, ideally you’d want to have access to daylight, but bright artificial light is also helpful early in the day. At the end of the day, try to avoid bright lights, such as those from laptops and phones, but if you need to use your phones and laptops in the evening, then use a blue light filter.
In terms of your nutrition, try to eat at regular times and avoid snacking, especially late at night. Making sure you have a substantial period overnight where you are fasting, such as between 10 and 14 hours, can result in greater fat burning and ensure that you are not providing your body with an inappropriate stimulus for that time of day; and therefore keeping your biological clock aligned.