It’s time to “fall back” and that means gaining an extra hour of sleep on Sunday night. Sounds great right? I mean who couldn’t use a little extra sleep or stay up a little later on Saturday?
It’s amazing how just one little hour can make such a difference. Whether you’re springing forward in March or falling back in November those 60 minutes can affect your health. Here are three ways Daylight Savings Time impacts your health.
People who suffer from cluster headaches or migraines often report issues around both the spring and fall time changes. Lack of quality sleep, daylight and dry air can all contribute and trigger headaches at this time of year.
To reduce the chances of triggering a headache stay well hydrated, establish a bedtime that ensures you get enough sleep and take steps to improve the quality of your sleep as well.
Your Body Clock
Your body’s natural circadian rhythms help establish your sleep patterns. So setting the clocks back will throw your internal clock off much in the same way someone traveling across time zones experiences jet lag.
Your internal clock will reset but it may take a few days. Here are some ways to help reset your internal body clock after the time change:
- Establish and stick to your bedtime
- Do something relaxing before bed (like reading a book, taking a bath, having a cup of decaffeinated tea, or meditating)
- Limit caffeine after 12pm
- Exercise during the day
- If you nap during the day keep it under 20 minutes
- Limit screen time at night
- Keep your bedroom dark at night and light in the morning
Gaining an hour of sleep in the fall may actually be good for your heart! Studies have shown a 21% reduced risk of heart attack the week after we “fall back”  Unfortunately, we seem to make up for it in the spring when the risk of heart attacks rise 24% the week after we “spring ahead”.
All of this reinforces the relationship between getting enough quality sleep and your heart health. The Centers for Disease Control recommend that adults get 7 or more hours of quality sleep per night.
If you regularly wake up tired, even after getting enough sleep or you wake up often throughout the night you may not be getting a quality nights sleep. Try following some of the tips above or checking with your doctor to be sure you aren’t suffering from a sleep disorder.
The time change can affect your health in positive and not so positive ways. However, taking steps including establishing good sleep habits can help you fall back with few adverse health effects.
Poor sleep and fatigue are also symptoms of toxins in your system. Get your FREE video and discover how eating clean can help you detox naturally and sleep better than you have in years!
- Circadian Rhythms. (n.d.). Retrieved November 03, 2017, from https://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/Pages/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.aspx
- Sandhu, A., Seth, M., & Gurm, H. S. (2014). Daylight savings time and myocardial infarction. Retrieved November 03, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4189320/