If you're wondering what the optimal times are to engage in certain activities, listen to your body's circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are physiological, mental and behavioral changes governed by the body within a 24-hour clock, according to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. They are affected by environmental cues, such as sunlight, darkness and temperature.
It's time to start thinking about light as a powerful medicine -- capable of providing tremendous benefit when used correctly, but requiring care and education in that use. Like a potent drug, it's absolutely necessary that we stay educated and aware of all of light's possible effects on our brains and our bodies.
As a sleep specialist, helping elite athletes deal with sleep and travel is what I do for a living. Trying to minimize the effects of cross-country travel and sleeping away from home can be a monumental task for some players and regardless of the techniques we use to minimize these obstacles, they are nonetheless always present.