Question Sheet: Body clocks


Before reading:

  1. Why do you tend to wake, get hungry and get tired at about the same time

    every day?

  2. If your body has a “clock,” where do you think it’s located?
  3. What do you think might reset that clock, especially when you travel across

    many time zones?

  4. What value does having such a clock offer?

During reading:

  1. What are circadian rhythms?
  2. Name at least three features that can affect (reset) body clocks.
  3. What kind of a compound is leptin and what does it do?
  4. Leptin concentrations in the body dropped, due to mixed-up body clocks. What

    did that suggest to the scientists?

  5. What does the leptin concentration drop suggest might happen when kids

    frequently stay up late?

  6. At least in mice, the master body clock is like what member of a symphony


  7. Explain the difference between the master body clock and the “food” clock?

After Reading:

  1. What health benefits might scientists learn about by studying body clocks?
  2. What could you do to deliberately affect — or help control — your body


  3. What segments of society regularly abuse their body clocks? (Hint: Who works

    at unusual places or times?)


  1. What jobs or activities are most likely to confuse body clocks, putting

    people’s health at risk?

  2. How might people be able to fool their body clocks at times when work, play

    and sleep schedules might threaten to unintentionally reset those clocks?


  • Write at least four paragraphs comparing — and contrasting — your master

    body clock to a real ticking alarm clock.

  • Write at least four paragraphs explaining why you personally think

    protecting the timing of your body clocks is important — or probably overrated.