Friday, February 22, 2013

Best Time to Do Everything

The Book of Times: From Seconds to Centuries, a Compendium of Measures. (Photo: Getty Images)A new book confirms what most of us already suspect—timing is everything. In The Book of Times, which was published in early February, Lesley Alderman, a health and finance reporter, compiled data from hundreds of studies to offer insight into how we spend our time. 

Best time to exercise: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., body temperature is at its peak, meaning your muscles are more flexible. Plus, muscle strength peaks between 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and and hand-eye coordination is sharpest in the evening.  (Fascinatingly, employees who exercise more earn more money—approximately 7 to 11 percent more than those who don’t.)

Best time to have a cocktail: Between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., the liver is most efficient at detoxifying alcohol. That said, it can still take an hour for your liver to complete the detox.

Best time to solve problems: At 10 a.m., your mind is at its most alert. Also, when making major relationship decisions, keep in mind that men's brains don't fully mature until they're 25. Women's brains complete their growth spurt at 22.

Best time to avoid stress: Cardiac arrest is most likely to occur at 7 a.m. Not a good time to have a stressful conversation or argument.

Best time to get pregnant:  Alderman claims sperm are "friskiest" in the afternoon, and doctors concur that sperm counts are higher in the morning and early afternoon.

Best time for surgery: Grab that early appointment: at 8 a.m. according to the book, "your clot-forming platelets are at their stickiest," and a study from Duke University claims that complications are more likely as the day goes on.

Best time for the dentist appointment: If you can't stand going to the dentist, Alderman says to make an appointment for the afternoon, when your "dental pain threshold is at its highest." Dr. Oz echoes the idea, claiming the best time is 2 p.m., when local anesthesia lasts longer. 

Best time of your day: Turns out, most of us are morning people. The a.m. hours are generally when we're in the best mood.

Best times of the year: The happiest days of the year are holidays: Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, Easter, July 4th, New Year's Day, and the day after Christmas—presumably because there's plenty of time to sleep in and relax.

Best time of your life: Your post-mid-life crisis years. People aged 60 to 70 have the highest levels of happiness.

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