I know I am not alone to bemoan the loss of an hour of daylight each evening, as daylight savings comes to an end. I feel completely robbed of that extra time that I could enjoy the sun. This is the time of year that, if you don’t make the special effort to go outside during the day, you might miss the daylight all together. The end of daylight savings time does, in fact, have a negative effect on your health. There are some things you can do to help ease the transition for light to dark.
It seems unlikely that one single hour difference in time would have such a broad effect on human health. But our bodies are tightly controlled by our circadian rhythm, which is, in turn, regulated by our exposure to light. We all have experienced that almost otherworldly effect of time change- like a groggy, somewhat disoriented state that lasts for several days to weeks after a time change. This is because the circadian rhythm controls our sleep-wake cycle, and also our body temperature, hormone levels, blood pressure, and even the activity of our genes. When we mess with our light exposure, we mess with the circadian rhythm.
The effects of this are apparent in many of the studies on the effects of time change on human health. There have been findings that show an increase in heart attacks and strokes on the days following a time change. More miscarriages occur following a time change and there are an increasing number of diagnoses of depression, as well. In addition, the sleep deprivation, particularly after the time change in the Spring, is what is thought to cause the increases of workplace accidents and car accidents in the days following that time change.
Daylight savings was established about 100 years ago with the intention of saving energy, but research has shown no such benefit. In fact, it has cost a tremendous amount in the currency of human health. It seems that biologically speaking, our bodies are meant to be on standard time and stay there. Abandoning the practice of time change would take an act of Congress, and it should most certainly be done.
In order for you to have an easier adjustment time, start adjusting your schedule now.
- Moving your sleep and wake times back by just a few minutes each day so that the shift is not so abrupt.
- Get outside and be in the natural sunlight for a little while each day- preferably without glasses or contact lenses that block the UV light.
- Dim the lights in your house at night so that your brain knows it is dark outside.
- Finally, you can use some herbs and supplements to help.
Here are some of my favorites:
Melatonin- this is the hormone that is tightly controlled by light. Taking it before bed can help signal your body that it is time for bed. This can really help reset your circadian rhythm to the new time.
LipoCalm- a great herbal formula to help you calm down both before bed and during the day.
Let us help you overcome the time change and become the healthiest you. Ccontact Dr. Klearman for a consultation today.