Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend on November 4th. You might be looking forward to “falling back” and gaining an extra hour of sleep, but there are some unexpected ways that Daylight Savings Time could potentially affect your health. Huron County Public Health (HCPH) has some tips about how you can help your body adjust to the time change.
One of the main ways the time change may affect you is by disrupting your sleep habits. Though many people may be looking forward to gaining that extra hour of sleep, the change in sleep schedule may cause issues such as insomnia. Even if your sleep is not greatly affected by the time change it may take 2-3 days for your body to completely readjust.
Daylight Savings Time may also affect your mental health. After Sunday, there will be less daylight to enjoy in the evenings. This may trigger some mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder (winter blues).
You can help make the time change transition easier on yourself by:
Eating a healthy breakfast when you first wake up. The food will help let your body know that you are ready to start your day.
Get some sunlight. Sunlight can help reset your circadian rhythm, your body’s natural clock. This can help with sleep and seasonal affective disorder.
Try falling asleep and waking up at your normal time.
Stick to your normal routines. Just because it’s darker in the evenings doesn’t mean you need to stay in. Go to the gym or hang out with friends like you normally would.