Getting Over the Clock Change

The clocks sprang forward in the wee hours of Sunday morning. It can be hard to adjust to the change. Monday was National Nap Day. However, many people still haven’t recovered from losing an hour in bed. If you are having trouble getting up or falling asleep, here are some tips to help you feel like yourself.

Heart attacks, workplace accidents and car crashes increase in the wake of daylight saving time beginning. “The literature supports a modest increase in strokes and heart disease,” said Dr. Beth Malow, a sleep disorder expert, and neurologist at Vanderbilt Univ. “It throws your whole sleep cycle off. We need bright light in the morning to wake ourselves up and be alert. It’s not just an hour change but a change for eight months. Some people adjust easily; some never adjust.

In a nation that is already sleep-deprived, losing an extra hour can make a huge impact,” said sleep specialist Dr. Harneet Walia.

There are ways to adjust quickly. Some of them are less pleasant than others. For instance, some things might seem harsh. Experts suggest you avoid napping and stick to your regular schedule of eating and bedtime. This can be hard when you aren’t hungry or tired in the evening but are exhausted in the morning. Additionally, while we might usually enjoy a cup of tea, coffee or caffeinated drink midafternoon, the scientists say not to have caffeine for six hours before bed. That’s especially hard when we are getting out of bed an hour earlier than we usually do.  

While many people are classing to scrap the energy-conserving measure put into place during World War One, it seems to be here to stay. There are some perks. It’s easier to go shopping after work in daylight. Stores see a noticeable jump in sales in the few weeks after the clocks go forward. And, you get more time to exercise in daylight. That makes it easier to go for a walk in the late afternoon. The afternoon sun boosts mood and productivity that can help us stay off the couch and get errands done. And natural light helps regulate your circadian rhythm and lets you get a better night’s sleep. Staying out a little longer and then avoiding screens in the evening can help you get to sleep faster and sleep better.

Help yourself through the first bumpy weeks of the transition, and then enjoy the benefits of sunny afternoons. And, remember, the clocks springing forward marks the seasons. March is in like a lion and out like a lamb. These brighter evenings are all a sign of the blossoming season on its way!
March 11, 2020
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