(WXYZ) – It’s the end of Daylight Saving Time and that means you’ll turn your clock back so you’ll get an extra hour sleep. Sounds good right but many people say the time change affects their routine. Can this seemingly small one-hour change affect our health?
How does Daylight Saving Time affect your body?
I know many people look forward to getting an extra hour of sleep. But in reality, only a few people actually do.
Because of our body’s circadian rhythm, our sleep/wake cycle will take about a week or so to adjust to the new time change.
This shift can actually cause worse sleep or insomnia while the body adjusts. You may have trouble falling asleep or may fall asleep too early. So you can feel irritable, tired, moody and groggy during the day if you don’t get a good night’s rest.
What research tells us
A 2017 study found assault rates are higher on the Monday right after Daylight Saving Time ends. And there are also more traffic accidents on that Monday according to another study. Some of those can include vehicles hitting students who are out in the darker early morning fall hours heading to bus stops and schools.
So we really need to be alert, aware and more careful come Monday.
Simple Steps to Better Sleep
I think you need to be patient while your body adjusts. You may still wake up earlier than planned but use the time wisely, preferably to improve your health.
- I suggest a morning workout or a walk, which can help get your sleep cycle back on track.
- Since the evenings will be getting darker earlier, get some fresh air and sunlight during the day which can help boost your mood.
- At the end of the day, try winding down with a warm bath, or reading a book, or having some quiet time.
- Just be sure to stay off your digital devices as the blue light can keep you awake longer.
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