(From YouTube episode)

Camilla Kring [00:00:00]:
And we now know from all the research in chronobiology, the last 20 years we have been in this field that you are born with a biological clock. It's not something you choose. And also research shows that if you are born as a late chronotype, a b person, an ISL owl, you are in the risk also of dying sooner than if you are born as an early chronotype. This early riser, just because of the time structures in our society.

Dan Riley [00:00:35]:
Let's start by defining terms. What is an a person and a b person?

Camilla Kring [00:00:42]:
If you are a person, you are a morning person. We also call it early chronotypes. When you are going to bed early and get up early and. And late chronotypes, when you go into bed late and get up late, if that's possible for you. But you are born with this biological clock, your chronotype. And if you are an a person, a morning person, an early chronotype, you always wake up early. So if you work from eight to four, night to five, from Monday to Friday, you have a fantastic life from Monday to Friday and often in the weekend when you get your b persons friends over for dinner Friday evening, you will go to bed maybe at 02:00 in the night, and you will also wake up early Saturday and you will wake up Sunday. So if you are an a person and early chronotype, you always wake up early.

Camilla Kring [00:01:36]:
If you are b person, a night owl, a late chronotype, often society are not supporting you from Monday to Friday if you work daily hours. So a lot of b persons are postponing a sleep pressure in front of them from Monday to Friday and then they sleep more on the weekend. That's classic bee. So often you have more energy in the afternoon and evening and it's there where you are very productive. But the problem is that over 80% of our population are woken up by an alarm clock. That means that we have to finish our sleeves. A time where we are not ready and we are interrupting our biological clock. And that results in a lot of health problems.

Camilla Kring [00:02:27]:
And especially for b persons to fit into this nine to five society is a huge problem where you get a negative impact on your health because you're woken up by an alarm clock.

Dan Riley [00:02:39]:
I was reviewing your TED talk this morning and one of the slides that you have in the TED talk and you just alluded to this just now, is related to the sleep debt or sleep debt sleep deficit that b people tend to exhibit on the weekends. And I wonder if you could give some context as to what that really looks like. I admittedly am one of these people. I always have been a b person, somebody who has been a. A night owl my entire life. What, what does the data look like for people who are a b person on the weekends versus during the week?

Camilla Kring [00:03:16]:
So the social jet lag is a term coined by Zilla Reinebert, who's a professor in chronobiology. And the more social jet lag you have in your life, the more negative impact it has on your health. And you can calculate the social jet lag by calculating the midpoint of your sleep on a work day and the midpoint of your sleep on a free day. So let's say you go to bed at midnight and are getting up at 06:00 in the morning on a workday, then you have a sleep midpoint at 03:00 in the night. And then in the weekend, if you go to bed at 02:00 in the night and getting up at ten, then you have a sleep midpoint at 06:00. And six minus three is 3 hours of social jet lag. And just if you have 1 hour of social jet lag in your life, the chance of being overweight increases with 33%.

Dan Riley [00:04:13]:
Fascinating. And I would love to spend some time talking about why people are this way, because I was typically given the impression growing up that ethical, responsible people are early to bed and early to rise. And I just, in preparing for this conversation, have read plenty of articles that are looking back into our evolutionary history and providing some insight as to why not all people are wired the same way for sleep. What's the explanation there?

Camilla Kring [00:04:48]:
You are born with a biological clock because we live here on planet Earth, and the earth's rotation is around approximately 24 hours, day and night cycle. Both plants and animals and humans have an internal clock. We have a master clock in our brain called supergiasmatic nucleus Scn. And that master clock in our brain is getting signals through the eyes. So we have some cells just in our eyes communicating to our master clock in the brain and telling the master clock in our brain, is it daylight here on planet Earth or is it dark on planet Earth? And we are synchronizing to the rotation around its own axis in different ways. That's why we have this diversity of chronotypes here on planet Earth, that some people are going to bed early and get up early, and other people are going to bed later and get up later. A part of the evolution theory is that we have this diversity because when we were living outside, it was important that we were not programmed to be sleeping and being awake at the same time. First time I heard about the research of chronobiology was when I did my PhD, and it was in 2003.

Camilla Kring [00:06:02]:
I read the first article about chronobiology, where chronobiologists have found the first clock gene peer tree per three, controlling when we are sleeping and when we are awake. Now they have found out more than 70 clock genes. But that was the first time I heard about chronobiology. And I'm not a morning person myself, so I got a language understanding why my chronotype is that I have a lot of energy in the afternoon and evening. And I did my PhD from midday to midnight. And in 2017, it was three american chronobiologists who was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for their insight into the master clock in the brain, the super geismatic nucleus. And this master clock is the conductor in your body. It's synchronizing all the clocks in your body, because all the cells in your body have an internal clock, but it's controlled by the master clock in your brain.

Camilla Kring [00:07:13]:
So your hormones, body temperature and so on is regulated by your master clock, the super chiasmatic nucleus in your brain. So it's highly genetic. Now, there's actually a company in Germany co founded by Professor Akim Grammer, that's called bodyclock health, where they have invented rna test, where you actually take out five hair roots from your hair or from your head here, and send them to a laboratory in Berlin, and then they can do this rna test. It's the same with COVID-19 vaccine, with Pfizer BioNtech. It's the same technology where you can go in and test your chronotype. You are born with an internal clock. It's not something you choose, but also, as you said, we have a lot of culture, a lot of moral, from the agrarian society that the early bird catches the worm, or early to bed and early to rise. That makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise, as Benjamin Franklin said almost 300 years ago.

Camilla Kring [00:08:25]:
But in today's society, over 80% of a company's value is immaterial, intangible. So that's also why human beings are creating the value. So looking into circadian rhythms can also be a way of creating a competitive advantage for companies and give working hours to morning people and working hours to afternoon or evening or night people.

Dan Riley [00:08:49]:
Yeah. The Internet being potentially a godsend for people like myself, I certainly have, have felt that way in many of the years of my employment working in tech companies. And I just want to underline and get your thoughts one more time on the fact that we were just discussing, which is from an evolutionary perspective, and correct me if I'm wrong about any of this, that it would make sense that in order to protect a tribe, nature would generally wire people to be asleep at varying intervals to ensure that there are always people on guard for threats in that environment, which is 99% of human history. And I was reading an article this morning, before this conversation, about a study that was done of an extant hunter gatherer group, a modern hunter gatherer group that was looking for this data specifically and found that in a 24 hours cycle, there were only 18 minutes of the entire 24 hours where all people were asleep, meaning at any given time, someone is awake. And that there is an evolutionary advantage and reason why some people are wired to be night owls. I wanted to just put that to you and have you correct me if I'm wrong about anything that I just said there.

Camilla Kring [00:10:14]:
It's totally, totally. Yeah, I agree. And biology is variation. So, like, some people are two meter tall and other people are 160. It's the same with our internal clocks. We have this diversity in our internal clocks, that some people are early risers and other people are late risers. And, yeah, that's the way it is. And that's also why we have to create new time architectures in our societies supporting this diversity and chronotypes.

Camilla Kring [00:10:51]:
Because right now we have a society primarily supporting the a persons, the early chronotypes. And that's a part of history when we had the agrarian society and also the industrial society, you know, working nine to five, check in and check out until you. I was.

Dan Riley [00:11:12]:
And I want to get into that a little bit because my. My understanding is that the percentages here are. It's something like 40% of people are quote unquote, morning people or morning larks, and 30% of people are night owls. And then there's variation in the middle. And I think you just alluded to this, but how did we get here, right, if our natural evolutionary state is to allow people, by nature, to be awake in the hours that generally suit their chronotype, their biology, what's the story as to how we have tried to pigeonhole all people into this morning type, morning type stereotype, the morning type lifestyle?

Camilla Kring [00:12:00]:
And that's a great question. I think if we look back in history also with the clock and the bill and the industrial revolution, when the mechanical clock was invented around 1283, it was the monk, the religion, who took this mechanical clock. And when the bell was ringing, people were praying, or they were praying. When the bell was ringing, they were eating and sleeping and so on. And just within 100 years after we see the tower bells in the northern parts of Italy, and when the bells are ringing early in the morning, people are going to work. And when the bells are ringing, they're eating lunch. And when the bells are ringing, they're going home again. And that was around 1380.

Camilla Kring [00:12:51]:
So we have been the disciples of the clock long time before the industrial revolution. And the industrial revolution was based on the clock. It's also here where you have the synchronization, you have the assembly line, where people have to have same working hours, working in the same rhythm, in the same pace, and fit into a system. Friedrich Winslow Taylor, the man behind the first management theory in the world, scientific management in 1911, says that in the future, the system must be first. So you have to fit into a system. One side fits all. And in the industrial society, over 80% of a company's value were material. It was building some machines.

Camilla Kring [00:13:42]:
So we had to fit into this system where in today's society, where over 80% of a company's value is intangible, it also makes sense to give this power over time back to human beings, this autonomy over time, and both work and live more in sync with your biological clock. When we are talking about an early society, but we still have a lot of thinking and time structures and time cultures formed in the agrarian society, where it was really about being a morning person, getting up, get something out of the day. In France and in Spain, you say, if you get up early, God will come and give you a helping hand. You stay up late, no God. In Italy, they say, if you sleep, you will not get a fish. So again, it's about, if you're not getting up early in the morning, get out and get a fish. Your family will not have anything to eat, and they will starve and they will die. So this morning culture is from this farmer fishing society, and then in the industrial society, we have this synchronization, comparison culture, and also that you have to fit in to a time system, where in a knowledge society, service society, it makes more sense that we actually create time structures and also time cultures supporting diversity in chronotypes, and also diversity and family constellations.

Dan Riley [00:15:30]:
I can hear people listening to this conversation and saying, you are advocating for laziness, that there is. If flexibility is given, this will just give cover for people who want to sleep all day and not work. And I'm sure you get that pushback quite a lot, that how someone sleeps and their sleep schedule is under their control. Far more than we are discussing in this conversation, that people really can change their preferences and how they're wired. One of the things that I was thinking about when you were just talking there is, even in my own lifetime, witnessing how much western civilization has come to accept how people are wired in a way that they didn't used to. It's not the same. But you know, I was young when being gay in the. In America was not acceptable to the vast majority of people.

Dan Riley [00:16:32]:
And I have witnessed that completely switch. And a lot of the change, I think, was coming to the realization that people are just kind of born that way. And I wonder how you respond to the counterargument that this is more in control than people like yourself and others who advocate for night owls are indicating, and that this is essentially a way for people to sleep more than they need to and be lazier than necessary.

Camilla Kring [00:17:05]:
I have been working with companies the last 19 years and also creating flexible work cultures, supporting diversity in chronotypes and work forms and family constellation. And it really makes sense where you can actually work when you peak mentally. So it's also about finding out a way where you can unite high level of productivity with high level of life quality. And this is not about laziness. I know that we in our society has those labels. And also when we think about a lay chronotype, a bee person, a night owl, that it is a lazy person. And there's a lot of fake as out there fake a persons who think they are or think they are a, but they are not. Actually, there are more b persons in our population than a persons.

Camilla Kring [00:18:03]:
When you look into till Reinerberts research, he's a professor in chronobiology and mapped over 300,000 people's chronotype. And in that mapping, you see there are more lay chronotypes, b persons than a persons, morning persons in our society. And the category we find most of is the intermediate chronotype. It's people where they are not a or b, but in the middle. And it is people who will. It's 30% of the population. And people will sleep between midnight and 08:00 in the morning if they need 8 hours of sleep. You calculate your chronotype by the midpoint of sleep, because it's independent of how many hours of sleep you need.

Camilla Kring [00:18:48]:
So when over 80% of the population are woken up by an alarm clock, it's not only interrupting our sleep. But Professor Russell Foster, in his book Lifetime he showed that when you are interrupting your biological clock, it's linked to diseases like cancer, diabetes too. There's a lot of chronic inflammation diseases. They're linked to living out of sync with your biological clock. We now know from all the research in chronobiology the last 20 years where I've been in this field that you are born with a biological clock. It's not something you choose. And also research shows that if you are born as a late chronotype, a b person, an Islau, you are in the risk also of dying sooner than if you are born as an early chronotype this early riser just because of the time structures in our society. This is also about fighting for equality between different chronotypes and give human beings the opportunity and the human right to live in sync with their biological clock.

Camilla Kring [00:20:08]:
When you are a teenager, when you are a young person, research shows that all of us are late chronotype are beepers night owls. Men are also more late chronotypes than women in this period of life. Men are most bee person night owl when they are 21 years old and women are most b night owl when they are 19 and a half. Research believe it's because of the hormone to test on makes it later. And even in society where they don't have technology, they have a language for their teenagers. Their young people are going to bed later and get up later. That's also why we need to create new starting times in the school system.

Dan Riley [00:21:01]:
Let's give a description of you've talked about the morning larks and the night owls and those who are in between. But in terms of the lived experience of these people, of as I understand it, a lot of it is when you naturally get tired and go to bed. You were talking about alarm clocks just a second ago and I heard someone make a passing comment when doing some research for this conversation that in no other species on earth do you see animals setting alarm clocks to force themselves to get up earlier than they would prefer. And what are the hours typically speaking that morning larks and night owls and those in between which I think you just gave the midnight and 08:00 a.m. What are the preferred ideal windows generally for sleeping for those people?

Camilla Kring [00:21:55]:
For example, if you are an extreme a person and you need 8 hours of sleep, then you will sleep between 08:00 in the evening and 04:00 in the morning. And then you can be a moderate a person and then you will sleep between 930 in the evening and 530 in the morning. And you have the intermediate chronotype between midnight and eight. And for example, the moderate bee person will sleep between 02:00 in the night and 10:00 in the morning. And the extreme bee persons will sleep between 04:00 in the morning to midday if they need 8 hours of sleep. So they can be, you know, 12 hours of differences in. Yeah. Between.

Camilla Kring [00:22:46]:
Yeah, if you look into the population. And that's data from the Munich chronotype database and it's from professor till Reinerbert and his research team.

Dan Riley [00:22:58]:
I don't know how anyone who is interested in human flourishing could want anything but freedom for people to dictate their day to day life in how they sleep. Fundamentally, I mean, in my just lived experience, how I sleep the day before is so indicative of the quality of the day I'm going to have. And I remember when I went to college and I had gone to a high school in northwestern Pennsylvania, which is dark and cold for four to five months a year. And I was getting up at, I think, 630 in the morning, um, nearly every day for, for school. And one of the most exciting components to college was my ability to, to choose classes and choose the start time for classes. And it was like I had stepped into another brighter world, uh, where I was able to ensure that I never had a class before, generally before ten or eleven in the morning. And it was an amazing perk to life. And I've been very fortunate in my own personal life to generally have more control for people.

Dan Riley [00:24:11]:
But I was wondering in my high school years if I had data on how I was testing in classes between 730 and eleven and those in the afternoon. And I have almost no doubt that I was probably performing far better later in the day than earlier in the day. And I wanted to put that to you as well. About, you just alluded to this a few minutes ago about this is really about allowing people to be peak performers. What company wouldn't want their employees to be at their best? So I wanted to give you an opportunity to speak to that aspect of this too.

Camilla Kring [00:24:49]:
Yeah. And it makes so much sense if you just have with the school system also. And as you just mentioned there, Judy Weissman, she is a professor at London Business School of Economics. And in her book Press for time, she's talking about how the school system and our early starting time in schools was designed to the industrial society in this synchronization. And I think that's important to understand the past also to create the future and the future structures in our school. System. So we actually can give the young people an opportunity to take an education in sync with their biological clock. And almost everyone is a late chronotype, if you look into the data, chronotypes when we are young men peaking as b person when they're 21 years old, as I said before.

Camilla Kring [00:25:43]:
And it means that they have a sleep midpoint at 530 in the morning. Sleep midpoint. It's ridiculous that we teach anyone at 08:00 in the morning. We should have later starting times in the high schools. It should be at nine or at ten. And research shows that later starting time schools would give more sleep to the young people and also better learning and better grades. That's just to say with the school system, I think it's so important that we are creating new time structures in our school system for the workforce of the future.

Dan Riley [00:26:26]:
And let's talk about the consequences of not doing that. We're talking about schools to some degree. But I think earlier in the conversation you used the word guilt, which definitely is something that I have experienced in trying to force myself to become a morning person, like members of my family and people who I know, who I've admired for years, their ability to get up and start being productive at six or seven. And I've marveled at that capability. What are the consequences for people in society not being able to choose their own sleep schedule and the just emotional, in many cases, consequences of the guilt and the shame that these people may be experiencing when there's pretty extreme judgment in certain circumstances about one's inability to perform, for example, at a high level, at an 08:00 meeting or a 09:00 meeting, I wanted to give you some space to speak to that as well.

Camilla Kring [00:27:29]:
And research actually shows that just by showing up early at a workplace, you are perceived as a better person and you get higher performance evaluations. So that's research from Washington University. So just by showing up early, you are perceived as a high performer. So that's something we have to change. And research are very clear in this area. If you are living out of sync with your biological clock and you do that when you are woken up by an alarm clock, it has a negative impact on your health. So the more social jet lag you have, the more negative impact it has on your health. So that's also why we need to create new later starting times in the school system, because the young people we have now, the knowledge that they are late chronotypes, they are night owls when they are young, even when they are born as a morning person, they are becoming later in that age because of the hormone test.

Camilla Kring [00:28:34]:
Hormone. So that's also why it makes sense that we are adapting time structures to the young people so they can get more sleep, better learning, and also, you know, it will just be better also for the future. So I think it's so there's so much common sense in this. If we first understand is biology. You are born with a biological rhythm. It's not something you choose when you are sleeping, when you are awake. And how can we actually create a society? And also new rhythms in the educational system and also at workplaces supporting our chrono diversity. And we need to remove those sarcastic comments also at a workplace, you know, if you show up.

Camilla Kring [00:29:31]:
09:15 well, are you joining us today? Oh, I didn't know you were working part time or those sarcastic comments. They are creating a lot of guilt in people, and people feel that they have to explain themselves and then they go back and fit into some kind of industrial work rhythm where their life quality is going down and also where their productivity is going down. Judy Weissman says that in her book Press for time that have control or autonomy of your time is directly linked to life satisfaction and well being. So we need to focus on how we can get more autonomy over our time and how we can live more in sync with our biological clock.

Dan Riley [00:30:24]:
I have thought that in many cases, when I have received those sort of passing comments, that there is a, an unawareness of the fact that people who are rather extreme night owls are often working when their friends and family have been asleep for hours. And that's always been, in my personal experience, how I seem to be wired, where I kind of reach my peak psychological state and productivity and capacity in the early afternoon and then even late into the night at 1011 o'clock or midnight. That's not easy, or that's not difficult for me to be able to perform. But there's no one. None of the morning larks are there to witness that. None of the early risers are there to see that fact.

Camilla Kring [00:31:16]:
Yeah. And night owls are very productive. And we need to create a new language about the productive bee persons, the productive night owls. And we need to unlearn some of the time cultures we have had in the agrarian society and in the industrial society. We need to reconnect with our internal clocks and give people more autonomy over their time so they can actually organize and navigate their lives in a way where they can be more in sync with their chronotype.

Dan Riley [00:31:57]:
Yeah, I'm optimistic that I think increasingly over the years, that possibility will be more realized by more people. I have lived that life in many ways and in my twenties and thirties, thanks to the Internet. What would you say to someone who might be listening to this, who identifies as a night owl and they are not in a profession or a field that allows for that kind of flexibility? At this point, I don't know if you typically recommend that they change their career. It's so important that they get in alignment for their health, for their well being that they, they get into a profession where they have some more time control. But I guess specifically for people who really can't, they're not in a situation yet where they are going to be able to have the kind of flexibility that you're discussing. What do you say to them? What, what are some hacks? Even though I know it's not likely that they will be able to fully change their preferences, is there elbow room there where they can adopt some habits to try to help make their life a little bit easier?

Camilla Kring [00:33:14]:
It is about workplace culture also. And what I have seen often is that small changes can also make a huge difference. So it could be, if you can just change your starting time with a half hour later, you can get a half hour more sleep. So sometimes it's also about finding out, are there some small changes you can make. It could also be that you can start a little bit later Wednesday so that you don't get so much social dead, like to the weekend. So small changes, if you can have a later start Wednesday, then you will have less social deadlight for the weekend. So it could be small changes. Just 30 minutes can mean a lot for people.

Dan Riley [00:34:04]:
It could be a big improvement.

Camilla Kring [00:34:06]:
One of the most important thing is to get out and get daylight, because out there, if it is a gray, if it's a cloudy day, you get 10,000 lux. We measure light in locks. If you are inside, you get 300 locks. One of the most important signals to the master clock in our brain is to signal if it's daylight or if it's dark here on planet earth. So you need to get out and get the daylight when you get up in the morning or when you are getting up, go out and get the daylight instead of being indoor the whole day, because then you only get the difference between zero locks and 300 locks. But you need to create contrast between darkness in your life and light. So go out and get the daylight, even if it's just 15 minutes. So that's also a small change that you can do to get the daylight.

Camilla Kring [00:35:13]:
That's very, very important for your internal clock and research shows that if you get daylight before midday or when you get up then you will sleep better. Your sleep quality in the night are better if you are creating a contrast between darkness and light.

Dan Riley [00:35:32]:
Its interesting that you say that because one of the new habits I have been trying to make myself do is exactly that, where within 15 minutes of getting up, getting outside and making sure that Im spending 15 2030 minutes in, in daylight. I know many people have made that recommendation to help with I think quality of sleep and the likely time in the evening where you will begin to feel tired and that that can curb some of the more extreme night owl tendencies that God knows I, I have experienced in my own life. But what, what does the daylight do? What do we know about what that's triggering, how that helps people be able to get better sleep and to go to bed earlier?

Camilla Kring [00:36:20]:
It's because the daylight also synchronizes us to the earth's rotation around its own axis and we have some receptors in our eyes which only function is to send signal to our master clock in the brain and telling our master clock in the brain is it daylight here on planet Earth or is it dark? Is at night here on planet Earth and we are synchronizing to this signal in different ways. That's also why we have this diversity and that some people are going to bed early and get up early and other people are going to bed later and get up later if they have the opportunity to live in sync with their late chronotype rhythm.

Dan Riley [00:37:03]:
It seems like. I don't know if you would agree with this in Europe but that in american culture the importance of sleep has become more widely known, more widely discussed. I'm sure you've heard of Matthew Walker's book why we sleep. That was on. Yes, yeah I have it as well. And it was on the lips of everyone I seemed to be speaking to a few years ago. And I know he's still a prominent figure. It's an odd fact that in this culture, and I would imagine there's some of this in Europe, I think probably some of this is a remnant of the protestant work ethic, that there was a badge of honor, or still is a badge of honor for people who are able to press through life on 5 hours of sleep, five and a half hours of sleep, 6 hours of sleep consistently.

Dan Riley [00:37:58]:
I've always felt like a complete wimpy in that area because one or two days of that will completely obliterate my ability to be a functioning, happy and healthy person. But I wanted to talk to you about the perhaps renaissance in the consciousness about the importance of sleep. You spoke earlier in this conversation about what some of the ramifications are or might be for people who are night owls, who are forcing themselves kind of procrustean style to be a morning person, and that there is a price to be paid for that oftentimes. So I wanted to give you a platform to talk about sleep in general, the importance of sleep and what tends to happen to people when they don't honor that important nutrient, that important part of life for their own health.

Camilla Kring [00:38:56]:
And I loved also when you spoke about Matthew Walker and his book, why we sleep. And also he says that if you sleep, short hours is shorter life, and almost all human beings need seven to 8 hours. There's very few short sleepers in our population. And one thing is your sleep duration, and the other thing is also sleeping in sync with your chronotype. And that's as important as sleeping enough hours. And that's also why we have to listen to our internal biological clock when we are sleeping and when we are awake, when we are sleeping and when we are awake, and also live more in sync with that prototype. Because research from Russell Foster in his book Lifetime says that living out of sync with your biological clock, if you are interrupted by an alarm clock, it means that it has a lot of negative impact on your health. And we know from research into chronomedicine and chrono pharmacology that if you are sick, it's more important when you get your medicine than the dose of the medicine, because your master clock in the brain is controlling all the clocks in your body.

Camilla Kring [00:40:18]:
And all organs also have a clock. So it's more important when you get your medicine than the dose of the medicine. And that's an area also coming more and more focus on, because when people have this knowledge, also about when you get your medicine is more important than the dose, they will also put pressure on the healthcare system to get treatment at the right time. And also with surgery, there's also times there are better for surgery than others.

Dan Riley [00:40:56]:
I don't know if we know this information, but does it appear that it's the case that for night owls, getting medication, getting surgery later in the day, typically speaking, is better for them, and the inverse would be true for, for morning people? Or is it something else?

Camilla Kring [00:41:14]:
I think it's. There is also, I will not go into detail with that. I know, for example, as a Mesa study with hypertension, that is better to get your medicine in the evening than in the morning. But there will be, and also with cancer treatment for children. I'm attending the european biological rhythm congresses every second year with 400 runner biologists from all over the world. And there's been some study also about cancer and when you are going to get chemotherapy, and that some of the chemotherapy is sometimes better to give it in the evening than in the morning. Also when you look at risk to get cancer again. So there are different diseases.

Camilla Kring [00:42:06]:
But I will recommend all to go into this lifetime by Russell Foster the new signs of the body clock and how it can realize your sleep and health. I think this is Matthew Walker 2.0. Where you get into the Matthew Walkers book was also about the importance of sleep. And we have also seen a lot more focus on that here in Denmark, that when we are sleeping, our brain is being washed and we have much more energy and we can also be much more productive. And with this focus on chronobiology about when you are sleeping is as important and how much sleep you get. So if you can sleep in sync with your chronotype, you will get a better healthy, you will also have more energy, you will be more productive. So it's a way where we can unite high level of life quality and high level of productivity.

Dan Riley [00:43:15]:
Yeah, extraordinarily important. And I want to read a quote from that book, why we sleep, from Matthew Walker. I came across this a number of years ago and it was in part what motivated me to want to have a conversation like this at some point. And this is a quote from him. This is from why we sleep. Quote however, night owls are not owls by choice. They are bound to a delayed schedule by unavoidable DNA hardwiring. It is not their conscious fault, but rather their genetic fate.

Dan Riley [00:43:46]:
And I want to talk about what is reasonable for adjustments in one's natural circadian rhythm. I think for me, just in, in reading some of the, the data I and living my life, I tend to get tired around two in the morning and I'm happily awake by about 1030 or eleven. I. I am sleeping more than most people and I'm lucky that I'm typically able to do that. But if I'm able to keep that cadence, um, I'm. I'm a generally pretty happy and healthy person. What is in your estimation, let's say that is true about how I'm wired. What's a reasonable expectation from society, from employers, friends, for keeping someone like myself healthy and sane in terms of adjusting that, let's say ten to two or sorry, two to ten or two to 10:30 a.m.

Dan Riley [00:44:50]:
Schedule for tweaking that because life is not perfect and life happens. How do you think about that, of what is reasonable, given the evidence about how someone should be expected to be able to modify their schedule from time to time?

Camilla Kring [00:45:09]:
I think you should be yourself. And I think also in today's society, we have 20% of the global workforce are shift workers, for example. And we could also go in and see how we can match working hours with circadian clocks. And we could look at time zone work. I've been working with a company in the Netherlands where some of the employees had the responsibility for Venezuela and Japan. And that meant that you can almost work twenty four seven. And then here from Europe, you could give a persons working hours with Asia and b persons working hours with us. And it is a way of actually look also the healthcare system, when you have a 24/7 workplace, it makes sense also to look at the chronotypes and also how we could work at different times without getting any health problems.

Camilla Kring [00:46:09]:
Because if you are a person, you should not work at night. If you're working at night and you're coming home after a night shift, if you are an early chronotype, a morning person, you can't sleep when you come home after a night shift and you get a huge amount of social jet lag. So I do believe in this. To be or not to be, be yourself. And if we are looking into this, you know, gift that it is that human beings are actually peaking at different times during the day. I've been working with teams where they're active 22 hours out of 24 hours. Some people are working at 01:00 in the night, as you do. And other people are waking up at 04:00 in the morning, and then they can actually be productive at that time.

Camilla Kring [00:47:01]:
The book by Francis Frey and Anna Morris, they have done a great book about unleashed. It's about trust, also an organization. But I heard a podcast where they are ab, they are cover. And when Francis, she's a b person and when she they're writing books together. So she's writing in the night and then her wife is getting off at 04:00 in the morning or 330, and then she can, you know, write. And then they are writing together where Francis was telling about their perfect 24/7 workday, because they are ab in a relationship and sleeping long hours. Einstein needed 10 hours of sleeping per day. He was a long sleeper.

Camilla Kring [00:47:50]:
And look what he has created. It's very important that we honor our sleep need, if we need eight, nine or 10 hours per day. If you're getting the right amount of sleep in the right timing, then you can have a high level of energy the whole day. I always ask people, what are your energy? Animal? Some people are dromedaries. They peak one time a day. Other people are camels, they peak twice, and other people are maybe peaking three times a day. But if you're looking into what are your peak times during a day and a night, and you actually plan and organize your life around those peak times, you can be much more productive and you can also have a higher life quality when you can live in sync with your internal clock.

Dan Riley [00:48:44]:
Fascinating and so important, I think, for people, anyone that has, I think, lived through a schedule that does not fit them, understands how difficult that can be for people. I was telling a lot of friends over the last few weeks that we were going to have this conversation and that I had a lot of different subjects that I wanted to talk to you about. And I was having dinner with a friend a couple of weeks ago who said that a couple of years ago, and I've known him for many, many years, that he was essentially me. He was staying up late and had been doing that his entire life was up until two, three, four in the morning. He's a programmer, and so it suited his needs particularly well. He started dating a woman who had the opposite clock to him. And I think it had always been a goal of his to be able to meet the day at five or six in the morning and wake up and begin to be productive and to exercise. And he indicated to me that over the months and years now, he has been able to do that.

Dan Riley [00:49:56]:
I don't know if he is an exception to the rule or if that is something that is with enough effort possible for most people. But I did want to bring up cases in the human experience of individuals who have successfully really changed how they sleep and when they sleep. Perhaps he will pay the price for this later in life if much of what we're saying is true and applicable to him. But I wanted to give some space to the exceptions to the rule or the variation here, where seemingly some people certainly have been able to break out of their natural rhythms. And I just wanted to put that to you and get your thoughts on how that's possible, how we should think about that as a possibility for people in general.

Camilla Kring [00:50:53]:
I don't know if he is intermediate chronotype, but it is. You are born with this biological clock. I think human beings can adopt to a lot of things, adapt to a lot of things. But it comes with a prize and it comes with a price, with our health. If we look into data, and also maybe on our life spanned in Denmark, we have data on almost everything, because we are a small country. And research here in Denmark shows that when we look into relationship, we have 80% of the couples are a person, a person or b person, b person. It's only 20% of the relationships there are. Absolutely.

Camilla Kring [00:51:42]:
And it also demands more to be in an AB relationship, because when one person is sleeping, the other persons are awake. And I always recommend the AB relationship to go on dates midday on brunch. That's why it's called brunch. It's breakfast for b and lunch for a. And both of you will have a great energy level midday. Because if you are a person, you don't have so much energy in the evening. So going on dates in an evening is not a great time. I remember doing a course in Sweden where one of the leaders there, he was an a person getting up at 05:00 in the morning.

Camilla Kring [00:52:27]:
And he also found out that his wife was also an a person. So after having this knowledge about chronobiology, they decided to have time together every morning between five and six in the morning. So that could also be if you are a person, a person in a relationship, that you can have a date in the morning instead of in the evening. And if you are bb, it makes sense to go on dates in the evening. But when we have the data now, I have been in the field of pranabiology for 20 years. We are born with a biological clock. And when we can actually take a test now and look into rna, if you want early chronotype or late chronotype, then living in sync with your chronotype is giving you a better health and also more energy and you also much more productive. There will be people fake a's out there who will continue to read books about the 05:00 a.m.

Camilla Kring [00:53:39]:
Club or the 04:00 a.m. Club and also reproduce this mindset from the agrarian society and industrial society, that the good human beings are getting up early and get something out of the day. In my point of view it's about embracing your own biological clock. But a lot of people don't know what rhythm they have, because early in life they have been woken up by their parents and forced into institutions. So I meet a lot of grown ups who don't know what rhythm they have because they live up in their head. And it's only when they have a holiday that they actually get sick because they have overused all the energy in their body.

Dan Riley [00:54:29]:
It's interesting that you say that because I have wondered if with the resurgence of the interest in sleep, if basically the vast majority of people in our population are chronically deprived of sleep without even necessarily knowing it.

Camilla Kring [00:54:47]:
Yeah, I totally agree. And Tsiloraineberg says that if you want to know your chronotype, you have to look at the fifth day in your holiday where you don't have any, maybe this sleep deprived anymore. But look at how our societies will be if our children could actually live in sync with their biological clock from they were born and we didn't have to wake up our children. It's small changes in our society. A lot of children will wake up by themselves at least before 08:00 in the morning. And when you are teenagers it will be later. But imagine how it will be for the adults then in our society that they actually have this connection with their biological clock and know when it's good for them to sleep and when it's good for them to be awake, it will be a way where we can actually have a better society and where human beings could have a better health.

Dan Riley [00:55:52]:
Yeah, I completely agree with that. I, I know we're getting towards the end of the conversation and I wanted to give some space to people that might be listening to this or watching this who feel personally addressed by a lot of what you're talking about and are desperate to find a lifestyle, a job that allows them to be able to live more in accordance with their own nature. What do we know about the certain types of professions that are out there that cater well to this sort of time flexibility, time autonomy, allowing people to be productive when works for them and not pigeonholing them in a eight to five or nine to five scenario.

Camilla Kring [00:56:41]:
I think there are more and more jobs also, as you said in the beginning, when you are self employed or also when you are musicians, so then you really need to be happy person. So I think it's also to look in there and finding out what are the flexibility, what is your space of navigation when you look into where can you work and when can you work in different professions. But we see also with technology that there are more and more jobs where you can work different times and different places. So I think it's to find this connection. And again, small changes, even in the workplace you are part of right now, small changes. And also first step is also to accept your own biological clock, embrace it yourself. And if you can't get that flexibility in your current job, maybe you can get it in your next job and looking into the culture of that workplace and finding out if it's actually possible for you to have more autonomy over your time. And hopefully, my hope for the future is that our educational system will adapt when we now have so much data showing that young people are late chronotypes are late risers, so we need to implement later starting time in our educational system so the young people will get more sleep and also better learning and better performance.

Dan Riley [00:58:22]:
Yeah, you beat me to it. That was what I wanted to close with. And maybe I can add on to that observation about the future. You were talking about the world that children might be able to inhabit in the future. In your mind, what does a sane, healthy, educated and informed population and civilization look like in relation to this specifically? We've talked about this to some degree in today's conversation, but I'd love to close with if you could paint the future as you think would be appropriate for this subject specifically, what would that look like?

Camilla Kring [00:59:03]:
I would love to create new time architectures in our society supporting our diversity and chronotypes. And we know that teenagers are b persons, they are late chronotypes. So that's also why when they are going, and maybe in 7th grade, we should start at 09:00 and then we have high schools. And when we know men are most b person when they're 21 years old, and also universities, we should postpone them starting at nine or ten, because a later starting time there will give more sleep and better learning. We also have data on that for workplaces. We should give a person's a working hours and b persons b working hours. And we should map our chronotypes in the teams we are working, because if you have the data, you can take a test. There's a chronotype self test, it's 19 questions.

Camilla Kring [01:00:01]:
You can use that in teams. And when you have the data on people's chronotype, you can also find out when it's best for us to place our meetings. Maybe it's not at 08:00 in the morning, maybe it's better at ten to eleven, maybe it's better in the afternoon. It's also depending on your chronotype. I've been working with a nursing home here in Denmark where a lot of the elderly people there, they can sleep until they wake up. And a lot of them are getting breakfast at 09:00 in the morning. It's not true that when we are becoming 80 years old or 19 years old, that we will get up early. And my hope for the future is that we can live in sync with our biological clock from when we are born to we die.

Dan Riley [01:00:51]:
Very good, Camilla. Thank you so much. This was fascinating.

Camilla Kring [01:00:54]:
Thank you. Thank you very much.