Internal Time by Till Roenneberg

Internal Time

Early birds and night owls are born, not made. Sleep patterns may be the most obvious manifestation of the highly individualized biological clocks we inherit, but these clocks also regulate bodily functions from digestion to hormone levels to cognition. Living at odds with our internal timepieces, Till Roenneberg shows, can make us chronically sleep deprived and more likely to smoke, gain weight, feel depressed, fall ill, and fail geometry. By un...

Details Internal Time

TitleInternal Time
Release DateApr 1st, 2012
PublisherHarvard University Press
GenreNonfiction, Science, Psychology, Health, Self Help

Reviews Internal Time

  • Lois Bujold
    I could hardly write a better review than this one, which sent me to Amazon Kindle to buy a copy: chapters of the latest news from sleep studies. Good and useful information for Owls like me, and the Larks who have to live/deal with them.The one item I was hoping for, and did not find in the read, was anything on studies of sleep disruption in women enduring menopause. It seems to me this would be a perfe...
  • Jo
    The question "Why I am I so tired" was a major one for me at the time of reading this book. It's not a self help book but just reading his research on sleep really helped me put my own situation in perspective. As a late chronotype myself, I particularly enjoyed how he defended us, by demonstrating that the old adage "the early bird gets the worm" might well have applied to a traditional agrarian community but it is not necessarily true for moder...
  • mlady_rebecca
    Great article on the book:*****By the way, this is another "heavy on the details" style review. If you just want the thumbs up/ thumbs down on content, writing style, and scientific accessibility, scroll to the end of the review.*****This is the book for all you night owls that are always fighting the "early to bed, early to rise" philosophy. 1) "Early to bed, early to rise" is a remnant of agrarian societ...
  • Charlene
    I became familiar with Roenneberg's work while taking a chronobiology course that mentioned him and the subject matter in this book. The writing style is a bit like a textbook. I listened to an audio version of this book and found myself zoning out. About a 1/4 through the book, I had to start over and make myself pay attention. Once I did, I loved this book. While taking chronobiology, I learned about the various chronotypes in humans and how th...
  • Brett
    Are you a lark, or an owl? Do you bound out of bed 15 minutes before your alarm sounds, or are you continually hitting the snooze button ‘just one last time’? The culprit is your internal clock, a biological device found even in creatures as lowly as bread mould, which is used to synchronise our waking activities to the sun.Roenneberg argues that your ‘chronotype’* – whether you are an early bird or a night owl – can impact several th...
  • ~☆~Autumn♥♥
    Fascinating new information such as that some people make their melatonin in the day time and so should sleep in the day time which is NOT accepted by our society overall. Larks think everyone should be larks. Owls are more extroverted which sure surprised me. They are also more innovative. Children born with Smith-Magenis syndrome are very crabby from being expected to be awake during the day when they are producing melatonin. They can be helpe...
  • Angie
    Upside: This book confirmed my hatred of mornings is genetic and therefore really not my fault. Downside: I will peel myself off the mattress until I die.
  • Brooks
    The subject was interesting, and there was some good information here, but the book as a whole I didn't enjoy. The anecdotes to start each chapter ranged from average to excruciating, and did little to move the book forward. Glad to be done with this.
  • Joy
    Interesting and thoughtful, but ultimately disappointing and not particularly recommendable. There are 24 chapters, and each one has a case study about a different aspect of our internal time clocks, and then a detailed discussion about that aspect and the scientific evidence to date about it. The presentation is somewhat unique in that way, and the author clearly had fun writing this. (It’s also very clear that he’s European—that tone and ...
  • Betsy
    This was an accessible book for the non-scientist. A well-written description of internal time, that internal sense we all have that controls the rhythm of our daily lives. Where does it come from? How does it manifest? Can it be affected by other rhythms, environmental, social, or artificial? The author is an experienced chrono-researcher and was able to clearly describe a lot of the recent research that has illuminated our understanding of chro...
  • Fiona Leonard
    There are some books that immerse you in a topic and you come away feeling wiser and inspired. Then there are other books that lead you to the edge of learning, throw you a few tasty morsels and then turn off the lights and send you away. For me, Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag and Why You're So Tired, sits squarely in the latter category.This is a book about the science of sleep. According to the science, sleep is not something that i...
  • Stefan Kanev
    This is a very interesting book about sleep.It's not a self-help book. There are no advices on how to approach sleep, nor recipes to improve it. It just tells a lot of interesting things about how we sleep, how our body keep track of time and what happens when it looses synchrony with the external world. The book is written in a nice style, where each of the 24 chapters starts with a fictional story illustrating a point about the ideas ahead, the...
  • Jean
    A scholarly discussion of the study of the human body's internal clock, and the significant aspects of the field of sleep research. Although Roenneberg clearly strives to make his points accessible by including an illustrative story (in conversational tone) at the onset of each chapter, the concepts can get a bit heady. He divides the book into 12 chapters of two parts each, to mimic the night/day rhythms of our lives and our planet, and fitting ...
  • Steve Bradshaw
    Fascinating content but awfully written. Simple concepts are explained in such convoluted complex ways that I had to reread a few sections to make sure I hadn't missed the point. The author has no ability to simplify the research into a clear narrative. The fictional chapter intros made me throw up a little in my mouth each time. I gave it one star since zero doesn't seem to be an option. Malcolm Gladwell, please will you help rewrite this book!
  • Barb Wilson
    This is a book about the science behind sleep recommendations that we've probably all heard before. The beginning was interesting but then my brain could not stay focused on the last few chapters which I skimmed. I would have preferred a book aimed at helping a person identify what chronotype they are and how to manage that. Other than: get more sunlight during the day.
  • Megan
    I *wanted* to like this book, but I felt I got more out the NY Times (I think) article where I heard about this book in the first place. I can't help but wish that Mary Roach had written about sleep...because at least I wouldn't have felt like sleeping while reading this book. Ha...ha? Get it? Anyway. Didn't love it; felt it was too heavy on statistics and boring explanations. Shame.
  • Brian
    I was a little disappointed with this book in that it had such potential. I would have liked more suggestions on how to properly use this knowledge of our body clocks. Interesting none the less on why we sleep the way we do.
  • Wendy
    I applaud the author's attempt to make the book more interesting with case studies, but the case studies just aren't that interesting. I would have rather read the book without them.
  • Nicole Harkin
    I just wish this book had a last page of "sleeping best practices." Lots of good information here.
  • Clark Hays
    Social jet lag is a thing (and I definitely have it)This is an interesting work by an esteemed researcher on the science of sleep. Using simple little stories, he profiles 24 (irony intended) insights into our internal clocks, how they are aligned to external factors (like the daily cycles of light and dark) and what it means for us as individuals and as a society when they are out of synch.And they are always out of synch. Turns out our chronoty...
  • Ágoston
    I enjoy learning about subjects I'm not -and probably never will be- an expert of. When I heard about this book, it seemed only logical that I would give it a try; after all, the question "Why am I always so tired" has surely passed all of our heads a few times in our lifetime. I've been planning to read it for a long while now, but always had something else to read, so my anticipation grew larger and larger without realizing. So I started it wit...
  • Erica Skinner
    Similar to When, but really dives into the science, so a bit too academic for me. I recommend reading but don't get too stuck in the concepts if you don't understand it. Interesting points for me: -whether you're a early bird or night owl is genetic. So if you're really not a morning person, it's not for lack of work ethic. Your peak night owliness is between 19-21. Night owls need to catch up sleep on weekends and early birds lose sleep on weeke...
  • Scott Wozniak
    This was extremely well written book on a technical subject. I wish I could give it five stars. But I can only go 4 out of 5. Partly, that's because it's truly technical (though he did a great job explaining the details, it was still very detailed). Partly, that's because he did a masterful job explaining how our body clocks work--but offered little to no advice on what to do about it. For example, he explain jet lag and how different types respo...
  • Joy
    As a night owl who always thought I could accomplish more as a morning person, this book was of particular interest. We do have internal clocks that are rather rigid. There was lots of good information.* The siesta culture shows that there is some flexibility in how and when we attend to our individual sleep needs.* The maximum number of suicides worldwide occurs around the summer solstice.* People have difficulty taking seriously the body clock ...
  • catechism
    This book has good information on sleep and biology, particularly if you're a night owl constantly wondering why you're so tired. But man, it's badly written. Each chapter begins with an extra terrible fictional anecdote, which the author then explains with science. Once I stopped trying to read these anecdotes, the book was much better. Also, the author is not a native English speaker but writes in English, and so there are a lot of hilarious bi...
  • Andrea
    Fun stories facilitate the education of why we each have a different "inner clock". Great read to help understand why you and your partner (kids, etc.) are not on the same clock and good arguments as to why we need to change the time secondary schools start to improve the health of the youth around the world.
  • Linda Guzzaldo
    This was an fascinating perspective on the genetic origins of our internal clocks. I've always been an owl, but thought it was a personal preference. To some extent, I still think it is. There were some very helpful suggestions to ease yourself into a different sleep schedule if you want to do so.
  • Mariana López González
    El libro en sí no me encantó, pero el contenido es muy interesante y te confronta con muchas realidades sobre el mundo creado por nosotros, y cómo ha obligado a cambiar nuestra naturaleza.