Is daylight savings dragging you down?
I may seem silly that only an hour time change could really have such a profound impact on our lives and our health. Silly, it is not. Research shows that in the spring, this seemingly trivial amount of sleep reduction due to daylight savings correlates to a shocking increase in heart attacks and traffic accidents the following day. The correlation works in reverse as well. In the fall when we shift our clocks back an hour, the rate of heart attacks and traffic accidents plummet the following day.
The sixty minutes that were rudely robbed from us this weekend have profound effects on how we feel and operate. Hopefully this will be the last time we need to address this - lawmakers are proposing a change - but in the meantime, here is some help! We’ve put together some tips to get you back on track in no time.
Sunlight. We’ve talked about the remarkable healing powers of sunlight in the past. Getting morning or early afternoon sun on your skin and in you eyes helps to resynchronize your internal clock - your circadian rhythms. In ancient Chinese medicine, it is believed that our organs are run on a clock. When we artificially manipulate time, everything from appetites to sleep rhythms and moods are all thrown off.
Vigorous Movement. Begin the day with some vigorous movement. This could be a brisk walk or bike ride outside (in the sunlight, why not kill two birds…) or a set of squats, pushups, and some mobility work. Movement, especially in the morning, initiates the release of a cascade of hormones cuing the body that it is time to get the day started. It will help increase sleep cycle efficiency and decrease nighttime cortisol as well.
Limit caffeine. Try giving yourself a slightly earlier caffeine cut-off time. This is especially useful for those who are particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
Consume extra micronutrients. Greens greens and more greens. Electrolytes play a major role in circadian rhythm regulation and nervous system control. Make sure you get an extra serving or two of greens during this time.
Looking for some more sleep strategies? We’ve got you covered! See HERE.