Hacking your body clock in a 24-hour society

July 27, 2016 8:30 - 9:45 am


Our bodies have evolved over billions of years to work in harmony with Earth's rotation around the sun. At night, our bodies store long-term memories and build up our immune system. When it's light, our digestion, heart and muscles are activated, primed to move, work, dance, live. Everything changed when planes allowed us to travel time zones faster than our bodies could adjust, giving rise to jetlag. Shift-work forces us to operate at odds with our biological rhythms. When we should be winding down and dimming the lights, tablets and mobile phones confuse our photosensitive cells and tell our brains it's morning, not night. In short, our 24-hour lifestyle interferes with our biological clocks, and as a consequence, with the rest of our metabolism: Obesity, heart attacks and pregnancy risks are all exacerbated by interference with our biological clocks. We will explore ways to hack the 24-hour lifestyle with technology to strike a balance between living the life one desires and keeping our body clocks ticking happily.

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