Scientists who study our daily habits and body clocks reckon the hour of the day we do certain things can make a huge difference.
THE best time to surf the net is 4am, according to experts who tested broadband speeds.
And scientists who study our daily habits and body clocks reckon the hour of the day we do certain things can make a huge difference.
So if there’s a time for everything, when should we be doing what?
7AM EXERCISE TO FIGHT FLAB
As long as you don’t overdo it or have your breakfast first, the best time of day to exercise if you want to burn fat is between 6am and 8am.
Your blood sugar levels are lower and, with an empty stomach, you’ll burn more fat reserves. You’ll also kick-start your metabolism and work off more calories.
8AM HAVE SEX
Your energy and hormone levels are at their peak. And if you’re trying for a baby, a man’s sperm count is higher too.
So this is the right hour… but how many minutes should you spend on the job?
A US study found the best sex sessions were between seven and 13 minutes long, while experts at Brunel University say being too strenuous at this time of day could suppress your immune system.
So go easy!
8.30AM HAVE YOUR BREAKFAST
Your first meal of the day is the most important and should have been munched by 9am.
A Harvard University study shows an early morning breakfast will stop you loading up with more calories later in the day.
Matthew Edlund, author of The Body Clock Advantage, explains: “If you don’t eat breakfast, your body thinks it’s in starvation mode, and you’ll eat more food later on.”
9AM-NOON GO UNDER THE KNIFE
If you need an operation, try to get to theatre first thing in the morning. A US study of 90,000 operations found that “adverse events” were least common in the mornings and most likely to happen between 3pm and 4pm. Mornings are also a good time to have injections as our hormones that deal with pain are at their peak.
11AM DO MENTAL CHALLENGES
This is a great time to do mental tasks like puzzles or sort out a work problem.
At this time of day you’re alert, your body temperature is rising and your brain can process information most efficiently. It’s an ideal time to brainstorm in the office – or put your feet up and do a Sudoku at home.
11.37AM HAVE A HEALTHY SNACK
This is the time when you are most likely to suffer a morning slump… and reach for a cuppa and a Kit Kat.
But you could have a cereal bar instead of chocolate – they typically contain half the calories and release their energy more slowly to stop you being tempted to start snacking again before lunch.
11.59AM MAKE YOUR MIND UP
The morning rush is over, you’ve beaten the mid-morning slump and lunch hunger pangs are yet to kick in and distract you. In a recent survey Brits said this was the best time of day to make an important decision – while 10pm is the worst.
By then your brain is frazzled from work and your body wants to go to bed. Only 1% of people believe they are able to make a life-changing decision at night.
1.30-2.30PM TAKE A NAP
Doctors used to think afternoon sleepiness was the result of a big lunch – but now they know that in early afternoon our body temperatures dip, making us feel drowsy.
Just as a similar decrease encourages you to shut down at bedtime, this midday dip can make you crave a snooze.
But an ideal nap should last 15 to 20 minutes. More than 30 and you may feel even more groggy when you wake up.
2PM HAVE A FACIAL..OR A FILLING
This is the perfect time of day to go for a beauty treatment because moisture levels in your skin are at their highest. But it’s also a good time to visit the dentist as a local anaesthetic lasts longer when given at this time.
2.16PM GRAB A COFFEE
Scientists say this is the time your energy levels hit rock bottom and your metabolism starts to wind down. Caffeine should perk you up.
5PM GET OUT OF PUFF
This is the best time to do cardio-vascular exercise. Your lungs use oxygen more efficiently, you’re more co-ordinated and your muscles are warmed up, so you’re less likely to suffer a strain.
7PM ASK SOMEONE OUT FOR A DRINK
Research shows you’re at your most happy, relaxed and sociable at 7pm – making it the perfect time for a date. And between 7pm and 8pm your liver is working at optimum level… meaning you process alcohol most effectively.
8PM POST ON FACEBOOK
You’ll get more “likes” than at any other time. Friends will be home from work, will have had dinner and be more likely to turn to Facebook.
8.30PM TAKE THE DOG FOR A WALK
This is more about Rover’s needs than yours.
Dog expert Jean Donaldson says owners take longer over their evening walks – and let their dogs linger over exciting smells and sounds missed on the morning rush-hour walk.
9PM COME DINE WITH ME
Your sense of taste and smell are at their sharpest – perfect if you want a meal out.
You might want to share it with a friend to fend off depression as studies show you’re at your loneliest between 8pm and 10pm… probably when that drink date has left.
10PM SWOT FOR YOUR EXAMS
Your long-term retention of information is at its sharpest so this is the best time for studying.
Memory depends on nucleic acid levels, which peak around 10pm. But morning is best for a quick pre-test brush-up.
We should aim to get seven to eight hours’ sleep a night.
Dr Jason Ellis, director of Northumbria Sleep Centre, says: “11pm to 7am would be an optimal time for most people.”
But you should definitely try to be kipping between 3am and 4am when mental performance is low.
Accidents among night workers increase fivefold at this time.
3AM GO ON A GHOST HUNT
It used to be called the “witching hour” but now it’s known as “dead time”.
Experts in the paranormal say that there are more apparitions, ghostly goings-on and things going bump in the night at this time.