Whether it’s falling back or springing forward, a time change is hard to adjust to. Here are five ways to get your body clock back on schedule after Daylight Saving Time.
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the act of moving our clocks forward one hour in the spring and back one hour in the fall to standard time in order to maximize daylight hours during the spring and summer evenings. Naturopath Rob Ayoup, ND, offers some tips for bouncing back after the time falls back or springs forward without leaving you feeling sapped of energy.
The upside of Daylight Saving Time
Living in the northern half of the world, Canadians may not get as much sunlight as our bodies need. However DST basically prolongs the amount of daylight hours, providing us Canadian with more sun exposure. Exposure to sunlight is a significant source of Vitamin D (not available in many foods), which is essential for calcium absorption and bone growth.
The downside of Daylight Saving Time
Anything that interferes with sleeping patterns is going to have repercussions on our health. While DST may give us more daylight, it does take away an hour of sleep and when the body’s inner clock is disturbed it can result in fatigue, irritability and sleepless nights as it tries to find its rhythm again.
Studies have shown that people are more prone to heart attacks in the first hour after they wake up, and the stress of waking up an hour earlier in the spring could increase your chances. Ayoup says that research also shows that the number of heart attacks increase in the spring for women, during the first three days of DST. And car accidents are also higher in the first few days after DST.
Five ways to adapt quickly to Daylight Saving Time:
1. Change your routine bit by bit. Begin by going to bed a bit earlier or a bit later each day, instead of trying to do it all at once when daylight saving time (DST) hits.
2. Stick to a sleep schedule. Keep within a two hour window of wake up time and bedtime.
3. Use a sleep mask. Giving your eyes the maximum amount of darkness stimulates more melatonin in the body which helps you fall asleep faster, and sleep longer.
4. Keep your bedroom slightly cooler. Eighteen degrees Celsius or opening a window should do the trick.
5. Give it time. It may take a week or two, but sleeping well and exercising regularly should make all the difference.
Want more Must-Reads?
- Change is gonna come - November 19th, 2012
- Dear Reader - January 4th, 2012
- Ask a career coach: How can I make my job exciting again? - September 19th, 2011
- Quiz: Would he cheat? - September 16th, 2011
- Quiz: Are you about to be laid off? - September 12th, 2011