With daylight saving back with us in the UK and our bodies finally starting to feel adjusted… there has been lots of chat around humble warrior HQ about body clocks.. and whether ‘official time’ is the best way to live, or whether we should take some inspiration from our plant friends and follow the sun a little more.
Bad Kissingen – genius idea
Chasing the Sun by author and journalist Linda Geddes looks at a fascinating little town in Bavaria, Germany called Bad Kissingen (love the name too!) which claims to be the world’s first “ChronoCity” – a place where your internal body clock is considered as important as external time.
“ChronoCity” asks what changes society could make to better accommodate our body clocks – and how can we revolutionise the way society prioritises sleep?
More light and more sleep? Where do we sign up?
Bad Kissingen is located in deep spa country in Bavaria, and has always been about healing and health. The experts behind ChronoCity drew up a manifesto of the things they’d like to change to connect the town to more natural light and more sleep. Here are some of our faves:
- Schools should start later... group high fives for the kiddies
- Children should be educated outdoors and exams taken in the afternoons not the mornings
- Businesses should offer flexible working hours allowing people to work when they felt at their best (early birds and night owls may never see each other again...)
- Clinics could pioneer chronotherapies, tailoring treatments to patients’ internal time
- Hotels could offer guests variable meal- and check-out times - (farewell late check-outfees)
- Buildings could be modified to let in more daylight.
Ditch the DST?
They also suggested that we should do away with daylight saving time (DST) altogether. In their view daylight savings creates a form of ‘social jetlag’ – a gap between our individual body clock and the external clocks and timings that rule our lives. This can cause health issues, reduce productivity and generally mean we are operating below-par when we need not be....
Maybe this is why the anti-DST movement is gathering momentum around the world. The European Commission apparently recently proposed getting rid of it … though anything that helps us avoid 4pm darkness over the UK winter is OK by us!
Flex is best
Ultimately our biology is inextricably linked to the sun. But maybe this all points to adopting a more flexible mindset, and one that allows us to be guided by our internal body clocks rather than obsessing about the clocks on the wall (easier said than done!)