We read about it constantly in the health headlines and biohacking community — get your full seven to nine hours of rest, dreaming occurs between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., don’t eat past 10 p.m., wake up at 4 a.m. for that bestest life, yadayadayada.
I, for one, believe that every person has their own body clock that programs how you eat, sleep, wake, and repeat. One that shouldn’t answer these one-size-fits-all health recommendations unless it’s natural for you. The missing part of the equation? If you ask me, it’s your birth time. Not just the time of year, but the time of day.
Are you a morning or night person? Do you eat breakfast or do you fast until lunch? Are you a midnight snacker? Do you nap a lot or do better without them? I believe these are questions we can explore through medical astrology.
Ancient Chinese medicine has used a standard organ clock that shows how human biorhythms affect our health and behavior. It’s all thanks to what is called our circadian rhythm, which is a basic survival mechanism within every living organism on the planet that controls our sleep cycle, appetite, and internal navigation system. It’s all the building blocks of life in working motion.
Circadian is derived from the Latin term ‘circa diem’, which translates to ‘about a day’. Earth’s rotation gives us about 24 hours in a day to work with. The rising and setting cycles of the Sun and Moon have shaped when and why we wake up. In most cases, we force ourselves to wake or stay up because of how off-schedule our body feels when the world demands we answer to a completely different schedule.
The more I’ve researched, however, I’ve noticed an unusual connection between our birth charts, birth time, and circadian rhythms. More specifically, the two hour window, as the ascendant in astrology takes two hours to change. Factors from previous night’s sleep, meals, to daily activity can slightly change what time you wake up.
From both personal experience and feedback from social media followers, there just might be a link between the time of day you were born and how this plays out in your sleep routines. For example, there’s people who are realizing they feel better after their sleep cycle changed from working at home because of the pandemic.
There’s also a circadian rhythm diet that is a growing wellness trend. Is the idea that everyone should wake up as early as possible a bit passé? I think so!
The “Scientific” Explanation
As someone who integrates science and astrology, the fundamental thesis of astrology in respect to human behavior is the circadian rhythm. Not the gravitational pull of the Moon. Not the Barnum effect, either. Astrology is in essence about time. Personality and horoscopes are just the fun part of it. The very thing that connects our bodily experience to the cosmos is the electromagnetic relationship we have with just about everything.
Our circadian rhythm dictates every aspect of daily life. A chemical called magnetite is found in brain tissue of most animals, which is attributed to our geomagnetic sixth sense. It deals with both our intuitive and primal urges, all of which is sensitive to light oscillations of the Sun and Moon. Ancient astrologers, nonetheless, were often geographers and astronomers who saw this magnetic connection to our sky and planet’s rotation as commonsensical. They were the ones who constructed the calendars that society has used for everything for millennia.
Our solar system is literal clockwork that represents different units of time. The Moon is forecasted in daily horoscopes, the Sun for monthly horoscopes, Jupiter for yearly horoscopes, not to mention that Pluto cycles are the same length as generational cohorts.
The fundamental forces of nature—from gravity to nuclear force to electromagnetism—hold our planetary system together. However, electromagnetism is the only force that isn’t bound by astronomical distance.
Our brains, hearts, and overall bodies are nonetheless electric. Our brains have enough electricity to power a lightbulb, while the heart is the most electromagnetic organ. Our senses and thoughts work through electrical currents in the body (AKA the nervous system). Our body’s cells are made up of atoms. Atoms are mostly ‘empty space’, if you will, that essentially generates an energy field where electrons orbit the nucleus. Together, these atoms form a unique group of cells that create organs that also generate their own energy field.
Matter of fact, much of our understanding of the universe stems from medical and biological science. Every system in our universe works on the principle of circular motion. Similar to the magnetic connection of orbiting electrons within an atom, I argue that our energy field is synchronized with the rotation of our planet and the planetary orbits of our solar system. In essence, we all live between two huge magnets, known as the North Pole and South Pole, that generate the energy in our bodies to the storm systems that lead to natural disaster.
The time you were born determines this fractal blueprint that imprints on almost every aspect of who you are. This basic understanding of how circular motion shapes the mechanics of time and space is universally applicable, from our bodies to geology to geography to spacetime itself.
A fundamental concept in astrology is diurnal and nocturnal. Day and night charts are not only calculated differently, but how planets are placed in a chart as a result can arguably affect our body clock as well. Some people literally live by the Sun, while others live by the Moon.
Learning Your Body Clock
So how do you draw out yours to understand the natural rhythm of your body clock? Here’s some pointers:
1. First, find out your birth time and generate your birth chart. Birth certificates typically have your birth time listed (in some states, it’s a law to document the time). You can get your astrology birth chart here, here, or here.
2. Sketch a wheel with twelve divisions on it. Place your birth time where your ascendant is as a starting point.
3. Determine whether you have a day or night chart. PM should always go on the descendant, with AM on the ascendant. So if you were born at 10 p.m., put 10 a.m. on the ascendant anyways.
4. From there, use two hour intervals and fill the times in going clockwise.
Note that you can adopt sleeping routines based on your work and social schedule, but it’s important to ask yourself whether you get easily exhausted or that getting up feels more like a rushed and stressful effort for survival. Waking up should come naturally, and the way society currently operates is unconsciously picking and choosing its winners.
Here’s the thing: I don’t necessarily think that our circadian rhythm can heal everything, though I can’t help but speculate whether our over-demanding work and social environments are exceedingly inflammatory to our body and wellness. There’s certain genetic conditions or accidents that have unmentioned implications, so this theory isn’t to invalidate an illness or disability or promote a false sense of hope.
However, we all know just how many problems a disrupted circadian rhythm can create long-term for our health. The goal here is a preventative approach and reprogramming your body to do what it naturally needs to.
I believe in the power of the human body to heal itself in its optimal state. Which involves a body, mind, and spirit connection fueled from the electricity of our thoughts, emotions, physical environment, daily activity, and the energy we consume. After all, science itself says that our body has a much better fighting chance to do more and fight chronic illness when our circadian rhythm is in sync.
In my opinion, it’s dangerous to center this boss culture around the early bird special. I understand what I’m discussing clearly needs more research. I don’t necessarily have the authority to insist any of this is factually true. However, my personal observations and the feedback I’ve gotten from social media followers has opened my mind to this body clock theory. My goal is to research this more, as there hasn’t been any previous astrology work to my knowledge that further explores if the birth time can apply to the traditional organ clock.
Depending on your rising sign in astrology (which is based on your birth time), the signs and planets that occupy each house in your birth chart can reveal other parts of your routine, too.
Meghan Markle: Hello Magazine reports that Markle wakes up around 4:30 a.m. each morning. Astrotheme has a birth chart profile for Markle, which has verified her birth information via birth certificate. Her birth time? 4:47 a.m. The regal Leo Sun is doing a routine that is perfectly natural to her. So to those wondering how she does it — my theory is coming together more.
Oprah Winfrey: Though a birth time is reported from memory rather than an initial source, Oprah’s birth time is listed as 4:30 AM. Marie Claire reports that she wakes up anywhere between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Noting that I said the two hour window is generally when people wake up.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Paltrow’s birth time is at 5:25 p.m., meaning you’d put 5:25 a.m. on the ascendant. Of course, Paltrow reports that she naturally wakes up around 7 a.m. (give or take). Similar to Oprah, Paltrow is a little over an hour off from her birth time. I personally believe the more she gets into routine, as she recently changed it from forcing herself to wake up at 4:30 a.m., she might even naturally wake up around 5 or 6 a.m. later on.
I was born at 8:37 a.m.. I typically wake up between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m., depending on what time I go to bed. There’s many days that I wake up at 8:37 a.m. on the dot. I was surprised to find out how many people consider this “late”. This observation is what prompted my astrological mind to wonder if our birth time is also the key to understanding our own circadian rhythm.
Because there’s limited information on how many celebrities actually stay up at night, I’ll use a personal example. My brother is born at 10:24 p.m. He has always been the type to sleep through alarms, even back in high school. Thankfully, he’s always lucked out on jobs that are flexible and oftentimes remote. He wakes up around 11 a.m., maybe 10 a.m. on a good day. He’s also a late eater and midnight snacker to a fault. He typically goes to bed around 3 or 4 a.m.
Those born between eleven and three o’clock, both a.m. and p.m., may have a higher probability of becoming late risers who can manage less sleep. Likewise, I’ve seen those with a disruptive work or social schedule born between these times to have more sleep issues or what feels like lower quality of sleep. In most cases, these are the types who wake up in the middle, take a prolonged nap earlier in the evening, then wake up incredibly early. Of course, I need actual data on this, so don’t take this as a full-on fact. As I said, I’ve observed enough where there this theory can at least be discussed.
So Why Does This Matter?
Ok, great, we know our bedtimes and morning routines. How can this information be useful, even for the skeptics? I’m someone who approaches everything I do from a social scientific lens. Our post-industrial society works optimally if we respect the autonomy of workers, more specifically with when and how we force people to spend their time.
We have a problem with treating workers as utilities rather than people. Sure, standardization creates “order” and functionality. It also comes at the expense of workers. Only Boomers, or lucky Gen Xers and Millennials, have a job that offers this flexibility and security. Automation and population growth is requiring new industries and job demands for the younger generations, yet younger generations are making 20% less than Boomers and Gen Xers at the same age. All while Millennials and Gen Z together are the dominant working cohort. From unpaid internships to overworking in service jobs they’re overqualified for, it’s damning to call us the “lost generations” when older generations are intentionally burning us out to fuel their own pocketbooks.
But right, we’re the lazy ones because some of us need an extra hour or two of sleep to work at our best. Canada and Finland have six hour and 45 minute workdays with very brief lunch, whereas countries like America or Japan have a 9-10 hour minimum (sometimes more when you need to stay after).
A 9-10 hour workday with 30-60 minute lunches made sense 50 years ago. Today? It only makes sense for certain industries. Nine to 10 hours doesn’t sound like much until you get about three hours to yourself before bed. Most people live in suburban or urban regions that spend two to three hours a day on round commute to work.
The post industrial society is not compatible with the current work model in service-based industries or in a hyper-globalizing economy. We’re starting to value creativity, community, social skills, and innovation now more than ever. How do we expect to improve this if all we do is burn ourselves out and don’t give workers more opportunities to advance their career or at least rest, for God’s sake? Instead, so-called gurus and CEOs won’t shut up about why everyone should be 4 a.m. people like them.
Like I said, we are electromagnetic beings whose brains literally generate enough electricity to light a bulb. Incredibly long workdays and forcing everyone to work the same schedule is damaging to both productivity and personal health. It’s like leaving a lamp on for 16 hours a day until the bulb eventually burns out altogether.
This pandemic showed us just how much better many people work when they’re at home and aren’t forced to wake up at a certain time everyday. It’s misleading for society to claim that X and Y are the best times for everyone. Many people work fine with the status quo, but many people also do not.
Most people are naturally compelled to get up and work after they get their morning routine in. Imagine if people could continue working at their own pace, whereas businesses and organizations open themselves up to a more flexible way of work scheduling. I truly believe not all night owls have an “off” circadian rhythm– it’s actually their natural rhythm. The world we live in just doesn’t make it practical for night owls or late sleepers. Whereas most people who force themselves to wake up at the “best” time feel more exhausted after the fact.
Humans have evolved to need far less sleep than most animals, which has offered an evolutionary advantage. Meaning early birds and night owls alike are still bound to experience daylight and be productive at some point during the noon time. Both can still meet deadlines without having to show up at an office at exactly 8 a.m. or else. Same goes for high school students who are forced to be in their seats at 7:25 a.m. or face after school detention. Speaking of which, recent studies are encouraging later start times to promote better sleep and improve academic performance.
Yes, I think understanding your body clock can help with personal productivity. However, it’s more about making the most of your day based on what you choose to do with your time and energy.
So hate to break it to y’all: getting up at 4 a.m. isn’t a profoundly magical trait that only few possess. It’s really not that big of a deal. Let’s stop making that “cool” because it’s flat out unrealistic and quite frankly elitist. Night owls can fly just as high as the early birds. Our current workplace and social expectations are all so outdated.