Marc Schwob

Body Rhythms Eating, Sleeping and Health Publication date : May 10, 2007

We are always being told that time must not be “wasted”. Instead, it must be “gained”, “managed” and “optimised”. The result is that the aberrant rhythms we inflict on our bodies fail to take into account our vital needs — as they are defined in chronobiology, a relatively new science with a promising future.
What are the basic principles underlying this science which is finding applications in a growing number of areas — sleep, sports, intellectual performance? How can chronobiology help people who have been running ahead of their biological clock to synchronize their activities with it? How can a better understanding of vital human needs lead to a new therapeutic approach in treating health problems?

The author tells us how to recognise the basic rhythms that govern the human body. Special attention is given to the sleeping/waking cycle which plays such a crucial part in each individual’s life.
Readers will learn how to improve the quality of their daily lives, from childhood to old age, by taking their own body rhythms into account in such areas as work, eating habits, sex drive.
Chronobiology has numerous applications in the area of health care. Since many modern diseases are cyclical, chronobiology has a major preventive role to play. More importantly, chronobiology has given birth to chronotherapeutics, a science that pays attention to biological cycles and so enables the administration of medication at the moment when treatment will be at its most effective and when unwanted secondary effects will be at their least harmful.

Marc Schwob, a psychiatrist, teaches neurobiology at the University of Paris VII. He is the author of La Mémoire, comment la conserver et la développer (2004).