It’s that time of year again: Daylight Savings. While many are unaware of the health effects of Daylight Savings, it’s something to pay attention to. When our available daylight shifts, it impacts our bodies in many ways. Here’s what you need to know about Daylight Savings and how to support your body during the upcoming time change.
What is Daylight Savings?
According to Sleep.org, daylight savings is the time period between the Spring and Fall seasons. At the start of Spring, many countries turn their clocks forward by one hour. When Daylight Savings ends in the Fall, the clocks are turned back one hour. This practice initially started as an effort to conserve energy. However, as a functional practitioner, I might argue that regardless of its effect on energy conservation, Daylight Savings can be quite challenging for our bodies and health.
How Does Daylight Savings Affect Your Body?
Primarily, this biannual time change affects your body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm serves as our internal clock, which operates on a 24 hour cycle. Regardless of Daylight Savings, our circadian rhythm is influenced by the light and dark- each signals the body that it’s time to sleep or time to wake.
However, today, with modern technology and excessive exposure to blue light (even in the evening and night hours), our circadian rhythms are likely more confused than ever. As a result of a disrupted circadian rhythm, we might not sleep as deeply or often, which has a cascading effect on our stress hormones, blood sugar balance, hunger/fullness, and more.
How to Support Your Body During Daylight Savings
Maintaining a healthy, regulated circadian rhythm is extremely important for hormonal balance, quality sleep, energy levels during the day, steady mood, and overall health! While I always advise taking care of your circadian rhythm, I highly recommend giving it a little extra love during the biannual time change.
Here are specific ways you can support your body during Daylight Savings:
Your circadian rhythm is the key to many bodily functions and processes, which is why we must pay it the attention it deserves. Use these tips to support your circadian rhythm year-round, but especially during the biannual time change.