Does your body have trouble adjusting to Daylight Saving Time? If so, you’re not alone! Here are five quick tips to help you adjust to the time change. If you have good advice, we welcome your ideas!
Unless you’ve been hiding out on the dark side of the Moon, you should have have changed your clocks by now. Daylight Saving Time ended on Sunday, November 4 at 2 A.M. All clocks should be turned back one hour.
It can take your circadian and sleep rhythms a week or so to get adjusted to the time change.
As recent studies have shown, our bodies have a time-keeping machine that regulates sleep and metabolism!
When the clocks turn back on November 4, it may be an automatic switch for our iPhone, however, our bodies do not adapt as quickly. After all, clocks and calendars are made-made and Nature pays no heed.
While many of us are simply irritable at having our sleep rhythms disrupted twice a year, studies have shown that time changes lead to an increase in heart attacks, traffic accidents, depression, and more. Whether you’re body-aware or not, sleep loss affects your immune system, cardiovascular system, and appetite hormones.
Other than abolishing Daylight Saving Time, what can we do?
Photo credit: Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock
5 Tips to Adjust to Time Changes
- Go to bed and get up at the same time. Lack of sleep tells the body to store fat. It may be tempting to stay up later or change your habits, but it’s best to keep your sleep schedule consistent. The closer you stick to your normal routine, the faster your body will adjust to the time change.
- Practice good habits before bedtime. Avoid screens an hour before bedtime. Limit caffeine in the afternoon. Exercise earlier in the day, if possible.
- Keep your dinnertime consistent. Or, even eat a little early. Our sleep cycle and our eating patterns affect each other. Don’t overeat. Try to eat more protein instead of carbohydrates. (This might seem like good everyday advice but it’s even more important during time changes.) Go shop for fish, nuts, and other sources of protein for dinner this week! Avoid the pasta.
- Get more light! Shorter daylight hours affects our mood and energy levels, decreasing serotonin. Make time to take a morning or early afternoon walk outside when the Sun is out. Try using a light therapy box or an alarm that brightens as you wake up.
- Take a nap. Some folks may disagree, but if you’re starting to stack up sleepless hours, it’s safer and healthier for your body to give in to a nap than to continue without sleep. Make it a short nap to restore lost sleep hours; don’t overdo it.
Finally, it’s important to mention safety. With less daylight in the autumn, it’s important to be careful if you’re outside in darkness. For example, wear reflective clothing. Keep your house lights on. Walk your dog in well-lighted areas.
How do you adjust to time changes? We’d love to hear your thoughts