How Your Brain’s Internal Clock Works

by Moin Uddin Ahmed Tipu

Circadian Rhythms– It’s a fancy name for our body’s internal clock. And like it not, they dictate so much of what we do and how we feel. Anthony looks at why we have them and how they work.

Read More:
Scientists map the wiring of the biological clock

“The connections make the clock precise but also let it adjust to changes in day/night cycles.”

Night Work May Impair Glucose Tolerance

“A new study suggests that night work may impair glucose tolerance, supporting a causal role of night work in the increased risk of Type 2 diabetes among shift workers.”

Study links workplace daylight exposure to sleep, activity and quality of life

“Enhancing indoor lighting may improve office workers’ physical well-being and sleep quality.”

Delayed sleep phase disorder

“Delayed sleep-phase disorder (DSPD), also known as delayed sleep-phase syndrome (DSPS) or delayed sleep-phase type (DSPT), is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder affecting the timing of sleep, peak period of alertness, the core body temperature rhythm, hormonal and other daily rhythms, compared to the general population and relative to societal requirements.”

Circadian Rhythms Fact Sheet

“Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment.”

Inside Life Science: How Our Bodies Keep Time

“Even when we’re not at work, we’re on the clock — our biological clock, that is.”

Watch More:
History of Daylight Saving Time:

How Long Should We Sleep?:

Sand Hates You:


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DarkBioCloud October 29, 2015 - 5:31 PM

Heh I just found out I have DSPD. It's really hard for me to goto sleep during the night and sunlight makes me sleepy. So I always try to take night shift jobs and use caffeine to stay awake during the daylight hours. I always thought I was just a night-owl but it seems I was born different from the early-birds. So much makes sense now to me I have been dealing with the symptoms sense I was much younger I had ADD when I was child and was given Ritalin any chance that triggered the DSPD?

Turner Brown November 23, 2015 - 2:38 PM

I've had similar conditions before. I sleep at 6-9 AM and wake up at 3-6 PM. An easy fix for me is to just, stay up all night to get tired and then sleep at whatever time I want. Then the problem is fixed for me.

MisterSir December 12, 2015 - 2:08 PM

quite accurate

leugimtherose January 4, 2016 - 7:15 PM

My sleep pattern is completely off.

During long breaks and weekends, I sleep around 1-2 am and wake up around 9-11 am. I take naps at 5-7 pm.

During school days, I sleep at 5 or 6 pm and I wake up around 12 am and start working on projects, assignments, etc. I usually sleep by 2 or 3 am and finish the rest of my sleep or not sleep altogether.

Should I switch back to regular sleep schedule or retain this? My school performance doesn't really change much.

IncanDescenT January 7, 2016 - 8:55 PM

ive been going to bed at 7am and waking up at 5pm, when i try to sleep before 11 im just up rest of the night not getting any sleep, and ive tried staying up all night until that certain time comes to try to sleep but it doesnt help

Otaku 58 January 12, 2016 - 10:23 PM

My internal clock has always been messy. I can't sleep a lot lately.

Nenad Ristic February 9, 2016 - 7:00 AM

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Chroniches Kronika February 9, 2016 - 8:01 PM

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nicolle February 22, 2016 - 12:22 PM

Help I need to fix my body clock!!!

Bobby Burcham March 24, 2016 - 2:22 PM

well.. I've worked over night for about 6 months.. not I work half and half. so yeah I'm fucked

Bri Swifty April 8, 2016 - 1:41 PM

My internal clock is a bitch.

Transistor Express July 18, 2016 - 6:41 PM

I fuckedcup my biological clock

Sambit Biswas July 23, 2016 - 4:21 AM

Its 3:51 am right now…. so yeah

R0N1N July 24, 2016 - 11:24 PM

I sleep at 4-6 am , get up at 1-3 pm … every fucking day x_x .

May August 9, 2016 - 12:58 AM

ah…seeing how many more others having messed up internal clocks comforts me lol im jealous of those who fall asleep in a sec

SpookeyLordzey August 15, 2016 - 1:44 AM

mine is broken, rip.

RamenofShadows August 17, 2016 - 10:54 PM

Oh my god thank you! I have a majorly shifted intednal clock. So much so that its basically impossible to do school. All summer i was up till 5ish am and slept to 3-5 pm. So now that schools starting again, and my parents wont let me do medication, i have to stay up 24 hours every month to reset my clock to the "normal" one. FeelsBadMan

Buried With You December 19, 2016 - 5:34 PM

lol at people who "feel tired" at 10pm and sleep 8 hours and wake up feeling recharged. cavemen..

luc Baartmans December 22, 2016 - 9:06 AM

Mijn kets See iTS 4oclock in the morning while i watch this nahh i think i'm good still not tired though

Ci0 mio December 29, 2016 - 9:37 PM

i need real help here. i have an exam in may 2017. im studying math. but im studying only nigt times. im sleeping till 17.00. and my brain activity is very good during the night. when the day time, i can not focus, im sleepy. i tried to change it but i couldn't. and im totaly free about hours. i dont work (i had a break from job). my exam will be at 09:30 o'clock in morning. can i get sucsess by studying only night. somebodys are telling me that my brain will be sleeping at exam hour..because i always sleep at that hour. and i don't believe it actually.
im waiting all sugestions till may 2017 :)

Steve B January 3, 2017 - 3:59 AM

Adhd doesnt exist. Its a made up disorder.

My Random Notions January 16, 2017 - 12:45 PM

If my sleep pattern was fine I wouldn't be here

Self Elements January 29, 2017 - 7:45 PM

0:34 "Suprachiasmatic Nucleus" (SCN) – responsible for regulation of physiological circadian rhythms (hypothalamus)

Emma Maher February 4, 2017 - 11:06 AM

I don't sleep. End of story, my motto is 'sleep is for the weak'

Ryan K April 17, 2017 - 8:06 PM

Is there a way to bypass that internal clock?

Gabriel Tobing June 10, 2017 - 6:42 AM

My internal clock is just the most accurate clock ever, because I can sleep and then wake up at exactly the time I'm suppose to wake up which is 7:30 on the dot XD

Riyazuddin Kazi June 19, 2017 - 12:36 AM

We set the alarm at 4 AM every day for the first 10 days of
Ramadan month.
Initially, it was difficult to get up at such an early hour.
Now we got used to it.
With effortless ease, we get up.
It is because of commitment!
Because of sincerity!!
Because we internalized the timing!!!
It has become a habit or daily routine.
The Inner Clock is set at 4 AM.
It is ingrained in our psyche.
Subconsciously, we get up.
When Inner Clock is ticking, you don't require alarm clock. you will get up automatically.
When Inner Clock sleeps, no amount of external call can wake you up. You will press the button down.
Once again you will go back to sleep.
Keep your Inner Clock Ticking!!!
All the time.
Morning time is the best part of the day.

Ninah Muhsen June 21, 2017 - 5:44 PM

I think I have DSPD and I have ADD

US force 247 July 11, 2017 - 1:59 PM

i think i might have DSPD , i wake up at 11:30 and fall asleep at 12:00 pm or 1:00 am

lyn ical July 18, 2017 - 11:04 PM

Can humans become nocturnal?

Manuel Perez Jr July 26, 2017 - 3:54 PM

I got advanced phase sleep disorder 🤦🏻‍♂️

El Athena February 10, 2018 - 4:29 PM

Is it possible to woke at exact the same time everyday? But with different time of sleep and activities in the morning.

steef4000000 April 17, 2018 - 2:48 AM

my iternal clock says to go to sleep between 12 to 3 am till about 10 to 13 pm so not ideal but can be worse

whiteboigothops_ April 28, 2018 - 1:30 AM

It's 7:30am I've had no sleep woke up at 7 pm yesterday been a full out night owl for 2 weeks now I NEED JESUS

Joseph Muzyka May 21, 2018 - 5:52 AM

Work In hospitality then you’ll know what a fucked up sleep cycle is

Jmvars August 17, 2018 - 8:34 PM

Whenever I don't have work/school I always shift to going to sleep in the morning and waking up in the evening.

Also alarms don't seem to do anything. I turn them off but I can't remember doing it.

Jarje Guzman September 3, 2018 - 7:08 AM

Mine is perfect

Jorndaller Mead Drinker December 10, 2018 - 6:42 PM

My internal clock is smashed to smithereens my clock is always changing

Muilisx May 16, 2019 - 8:22 AM

What i wanna know is….if i know i have to be up at 5am for work and i set my alarm….why i always wake up automatically at 4:58am…..but when i know i dont have work….i just sleep….thats what i wanna learn about ….how that works like that….how do i always wake up minutes before my alarm

Ali Comando August 19, 2019 - 8:07 AM

Every day i sleep about 48 minutes later

Which cycles forward
About 29 to 40 days like this
I sleep my 8 hours every day no problem

Day 1 i sleep at 00.00
Day 2 00:50
Day 3 01:36
Day 4 02.24

And so on ……..

I cant control irt
It is not option
Or choice

What is this term is called ?

AJ MARR October 12, 2019 - 9:06 AM

Biological Alarm Clock: Biological alarm clocks are biological mechanisms that tell us when to eat, when to sleep, and when to make babies. For women, oftentimes the biological clock goes awry, and begins to signal all sorts of jarring behaviors that seem at least to the man of the house to be most untimely. This biological alarm clock jolts a woman into action, or more likely, into prodding a man into actions at the wrong time. A woman's biological alarm clock is often out of sync with her husband's own biological clock, which naturally runs much slower. The man compensates by resetting his own clock to give himself more time. Unfortunately, women have no capability to reset their own clocks. This results in their ringing just in time to tell their husband to vacuum the floor as he settles back to relax from a hard day at the office, or to mow the law or bath the kid just as the big game comes on TV. All too often the wife gets all wound up just as the husband starts to unwind. Unfortunately, the only way to set back your wife's clock is with a blunt object to the head. However, this is not recommended since it would set her back in time permanently, and force you to do time, as in jail.
from Dr. Mezmer’s World of Bad Psychology, found on an internet near you!

Tartarus Traverser May 13, 2020 - 7:36 PM

I go to sleep at 1-4 am and wake up at 9am

At1anta December 20, 2020 - 2:40 AM

Haha in my mind I can pick at what exact time I want to wake up