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Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You're So Tired by [Roenneberg, Till]
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Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You're So Tired Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Description


"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 April 28th 2012

" 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 1st April 2012

"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, 27th April 2012

"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, 3rd May 2012

"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 Review

...Roenneberg's book is an engaging and informative layman's introduction to circadian science and it's implications for contemporary humans... ...By integrating quality scientific exposition with well-rounded human vignettes, Roenneberg's book shows how sophisticated human behaviours arise partly from our embodied earthly nature. --Greg Murray, Times Higher Education, Thursday 3rd May 2012

About the Author

Till Roenneberg is Professor at the Institute of Medical Psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1890 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Tra edition (25 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008XOG2N4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #457,765 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lots and lots of interesting information and scientific studies on the body clock and sleep. Basic takeaway is that you can't change your chronotype (if you are a lark, or a night owl, you are stuck). It's not easy to read on Kindle as there are lots of charts to accompany the studies, and I don't think they are labeled well enough. I got a bit frustrated as I was hoping he would make more of an effort to tell me what was really important and what wasn't. So I wouldn't say it's as mass-market friendly as it could have been. But I would recommend it if you're very interested in body clocks!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book exceeded all my expectations. As a former insomniac I've read pretty much every book on sleep and insomnia, yet I gained new information and insights from this book. It is also extremely well-written and unlike many books on sleep that fall more into the self-help category, it is backed up by real science and actual studies. If you're interested in the mechanics and mystery of sleep, get it- you won't be disappointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 25 reviews
63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb: Fascinating, Thought-Provoking, & Accessible Look At Why We're Asleep At The Wheel & On Our Feet, And Can't Sleep In Bed 7 July 2012
By M. Hallisey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First off, I am not a subject matter expert in the realm of "chronobiology". But what Ronneberg describes in this short and very readable introduction to our internal body clocks was my life for the last third of my 30-year military career. As a result, while I can't recommend the book from the researcher angle, I can highly recommend the book from the subject angle. In short, I'm a fan and HIGHLY recommend this book.

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.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good food for thought 20 Sept. 2013
By Fiona Leonard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 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.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and well written 20 Dec. 2012
By Vikrum Sequeira - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw a link to this book in a science blog and ordered it. It is a fascinating read - the author illustrates his points about different chronotypes with stories of people's sleep patterns. There is a scientific basis for morning people and night people. And not surprisingly, the factors that go into a person's chronotype are complex and range from genetics to season to stress levels to a person's age. One part I found particularly interesting was the author's examination of the fact that we live in a world of (ideally) 8 hours of continuous sleep followed by 16 hours of being continuously awake. The author shows how this crono-phenomenon is the result of industrialization, electricity, and the modern work force; this has not been the norm for most of our species' existence. I also enjoyed some of the descriptions of different sleep experiments. One of the better books out there on sleep, cronotypes, and our relationship to sleep/time.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read 25 Feb. 2013
By AngliGreek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author takes scientific studies and data, and makes them highly accessible. He transforms their results into clever postmodern parables about how we live our lives, to show why so many of us are out of sync with the itinerary of our minds and bodies. He looks at what makes some folks 'morning' people and others 'night' people; why and how we sleep; how our internal time clocks affect the degree to which we experience pain, when we feel like eating or being intimate; and why many of us are barely making it through our day jobs.

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!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We (society) should all take this subject more seriously 8 Sept. 2012
By Lizil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I don't have a lot to add, except this has helped me understand some of why I have been at odds with sleeping norms my whole life & helped me not
feel guilty about being different from said norms. (especially saying "No I can't drive now, I'm too tired. . .")

Mostly I wanted to balance the 1 star review, especially since this book IS available on Kindle now.
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