- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press; Reprint edition (March 13, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674975391
- ISBN-13: 978-0674975392
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You're So Tired Reprint Edition
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Internal Time is an accessible, up-to-date overview of a subject that is important to all of us. With its remarkable depth and breadth of coverage, this book should be of interest to a wide and diverse audience. (Martin Zatz, Editor, Journal of Biological Rhythms)
This is a wonderful book from a gifted scientist, thinker and writer that provides the reader with the rare opportunity to discover something new about themselves and the world in which they live. (Russell G. Foster, University of Oxford)
In Internal Time, Till Roenneberg, a chronobiologist at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, takes readers on a journey through this mysterious area of science. He explores why some people are larks and others owls, why jet lag can be so debilitating to travelers, and why teenagers struggle to get out of bed in the morning...Roenneberg is a knowledgeable guide, with a talent for making difficult concepts clear and convincing...This is a fascinating introduction to an important topic, which will appeal to anyone who wishes to delve deep into the world of chronobiology, or simply wonders why they struggle to get a good night's sleep. (Richard Wiseman New Scientist 2012-04-28)
Time really is of the essence, says medical psychologist Till Roenneberg. By neglecting our body clocks--which rarely run in synchrony with the crazily cranked-up pace of modern life--we can develop "social jetlag," endangering our health and careers. Roenneberg has built his book on decades of research in everything from fungi and single-celled organisms to humans. In brilliantly minimalist terms, he explains the temporal mismatches behind teen exhaustion, early birds and night owls, and sleep phobia. (Nature 2012-04-01)
Internal Time is a cautionary tale--actually a series of 24 tales, not coincidentally. Roenneberg ranges widely from the inner workings of biological rhythms to their social implications, illuminating each scientific tutorial with an anecdote inspired by clinical research...Written with grace and good humor, Internal Time is a serious work of science incorporating the latest research in chronobiology...[A] compelling volume. (A. Roger Ekirch Wall Street Journal 2012-04-27)
Till Roenneberg's book is an engaging and informative layman's introduction to circadian science and its implications for contemporary humans...By integrating quality scientific exposition with well-rounded human vignettes, Roenneberg's book shows how sophisticated human behaviors arise partly from our embodied earthly nature. (Greg Murray Times Higher Education 2012-05-03)
Internal Time made me think deeply about what it means to be a time-bound organism: about the ways we live in time and the ways time lives in us. It is, in an unusually literal sense, a book about what makes us tick. (Kathryn Schulz New York 2012-04-29)
A brilliant book. (William Leith Telegraph 2012-05-31)
Fascinating...Other books have dealt with our biological clocks, but Roenneberg focuses on the ways in which societal pressures seem to be leading us to disregard our clocks, at considerable cost. (Rob Dunn Wilson Quarterly 2012-06-01) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Till Roenneberg is Professor at the Institute of Medical Psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich.
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Bottom line, Ronneberg's thesis is this: our body clock(s) is(are) real, performs(perform) very important calibrating functions and messing with it(them) has very serious consequences. And from personal experience, I would have to agree. I violated pretty much every "rule" in his book and I wound up paying a very heavy price. Fortunately (though it didn't seem so at the time), mandatory retirement arrived and an inability to go back to work in a second career provided an opportunity to get my clock(s) resynchronized (though not having yet read the book, I had no idea what I was doing other than following what my body was telling me I needed to do).
So what did I do wrong? Well, my work generally entailed long hours in a windowless, fluorescent-lighted, office (no connection with the natural light/dark cycle); too-often, middle-of-the-night phone calls (interrupted sleep cycles); frequent trips across up to 8-10 timezones where I was expected to be at work "bright & early" the day after travelling (unending two-way jet lag); and meetings/events at all hours of the day lasting anywhere from one hour to all day ("social jet lag"). I am (hopefully) coming out of a several-year severe, debilitating downturn where my lack of synchronized, restorative sleep was either the root cause of or a contributing factor to a health/fitness level that had me very close to a stroke (as well as manifested in a number of yet-to-be explained body- & system-wide ailments). So severe was the downturn that I was housebound for a very long time with chronic fatigue, chronic pain, inability to drive, inability to focus and frame thoughts for long stretches, an inability to sleep, and a feeling that if something didn't get better soon I was going to go mad.
I've already given away some of the topics covered and I'd rather not spoil any more of the read. Instead, let me make a short comment about the presentation and leave it there. Ronneberg opens each of the 20-odd chapters with a story served up to illustrate the theme of the chapter. Then he explains the story and introduces us to the theme and the science behind it. And he does so in a very readable style (kudos to either the translator and/or Ronneberg).
Absolutely fascinating stuff.
P.S. With regard to Mr. Thomas and his 1-star review.... I'm sorry the book is not yet available on Kindle. But why are you punishing the author and his content here? This review forum should be about the book, not about your inability to get it in the format you desired. Do, please, punish the publisher, but there's no reason to punish the author here. I hope you clicked the link "I'd like to read this book on Kindle" and if you don't want to wait until it is or purchase the physical book to take along on your travels, get it from the library and read it in-between trips. I'm sure you'll see it is every bit the 5-star book I believe it to be.
This is a book about the science of sleep. According to the science, sleep is not something that is governed entirely by choice. Instead, it is something deeply rooted at our cellular level. While we have control over when we want to wake and sleep, at our core there is a mechanism that has preset when we should wake and sleep. Not only does this impact on how we feel, but also how we digest, think and function. This sleep preset is, however, not fixed, rather it follows a natural pattern over the course of our lives - varying with age. There is also a divergence between male and female sleeping patterns.
As the book clearly sets out, how we should sleep is profoundly affected by our need to conform to social expectations, whether those are preconceived notions of effectiveness ("the early bird catches the worm") or simply by the fact that we are required to be at work or school at a proscribed time.
The book is set out in 24 chapters (yes because there are 24 hours in a day) and each one begins with a case study/story and then goes on to explain the science behind it. The chapters makes for fascinating reading and there were plenty of sections that I found enlightening and highlighted to come back to. I read this book quite quickly because I was looking forward to getting to the advice section - "Here's how to manage sleep/jet lag/chronotypes etc" - except that part never comes. You get the science and then you're on your own.
If nothing else I feel like this book is a step forward in addressing the social stigma that surrounds sleep - that the less you sleep the better you are. It's good food for thought. What you do with that information is up to you.
Roenneberg also tackles the unreasonable expectations of our culture, what really happens to us when we travel, and how people and animals respond to changes like Daylight Savings Time. The book was so fascinating, I couldn't put it down!