It's almost that time of year, Daylight Savings Time is over and clocks get set back an hour. Help your body keep up with the time change.
Fall is here which means it’s almost time to fall back an hour. Daylight savings time ends on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 a.m. Be sure to set your clocks back one hour and get that extra 60 minutes of sleep!
As sweet as an extra hour of sleep can be, the end of daylight savings time can affect the body for over a week. Falling back an hour in the fall is less harsh on your body than springing forward an hour in the spring. Unfortunately, falling back an hour can still cause disruption in sleeping patterns and eating habits, leading to a decrease in energy and loss in productivity.
The cause of these disruptions are due to the body’s circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm regulates many aspects of life including when you feel drowsy and alert over the course of a 24-hour period. A part of the brain that is regulated by light and darkness, gets thrown off when natural patterns of light and dark change abruptly. This may cause a negative ripple effect to the entire body’s circadian rhythm which can lead to insomnia and unexpected sleepy spells throughout the day.
Our board-certified sleep medicine physician and the Medical Director of the West Lakes Sleep Center Dr. Gregory Hicklin can help you avoid the negative effects of daylight savings time this fall. Follow these three tips:
- Set a consistent sleep schedule. The week leading up to Nov. 5 start going to bed and waking up 10-15 minutes earlier each day. This will slowly ease your body into the new schedule rather than forcing a harsh change the day of daylight savings time’s end.
- Turn off electronics, don’t drink caffeine and don’t exercise close to bed time. Insomnia is often associated with daylight savings time’s end. These external factors can make the insomnia — created by the change in your circadian rhythm — even worse.
- Naturally boost your energy. “20-30 minutes of a brisk walk at mid-day may help as you find yourself hitting a wall in the morning or in the middle of your work day. Eat meals at the new time according the clock and don’t forget to drink your daily dose of water.” says Dr. Hicklin.
To learn more about sleep medicine, visit the West Lakes Sleep Center or call (515)-875-9555 to schedule an appointment.