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4 Tips on How to Adjust to the Time-Change This Spring

 

Moving the clock forward one hour in the spring means we lose an hour of sleep this can throw off your body clock. Here’s some information on how it can affect your body and ways to counteract it.  

The body has its own internal body clock that it uses to regulate sleep. It can take your circadian rhythm up to 7 days to adjust to time changes disrupting your sleep and waking patterns in the process.  

Those with underlying health issues may feel more disputed by the time change than those who don’t. The 2001 National Institutes of Health study showed statistics that after the springtime shift there is a sudden increase in heart attacks and fatal car accidents; this is often due to the fact that gaining or losing an hour of sleep can leave some feeling groggy and irritable. For some the adjustment is easy-going but for others it may take some time. 

The body has its own internal body clock that it uses to regulate sleep. It can take your circadian rhythm up to 7 days to adjust to time changes disrupting your sleep and waking patterns in the process. 

“In a nation that is already sleep deprived, losing an extra hour can make a huge impact,” says sleep specialist Harneet Walia, MD. 

Here are some tips to stay at your best during daylight saving times time changes: 

1. Follow a bedtime routine 

It is ideal to get at least 7 hours sleep a night days before and after the time change. Making sure your body and mind are in the right state is important before bedtime. Take care to not engage in any activities that may increase your heart rate before bed such as, exercise at least 4 hours before. Avoid caffeine at least 6 hours before bed and alcohol in the evening. Turn off mobiles and electronics at least an hour before bed as their light inhibits melatonin which is the hormone that needs to be released for sleep. 

2. Maintain your schedule 

Going to bed at the same time every day and waking up at the same time every day will lower the effects of the time change on your body as you stick to a routine. Do not fall victim to staying up later or changing your habits.  

3. Make some changes to your diet 

Closer to time change try and eat at the same times every day. It is best to avoid carbohydrates and increase protein intake some good protein sources besides meat include fish, nuts, seeds and dairy.  

4. Keep naps short 

Whilst it may be tempting to take a long nap especially if the time change leaves you feeling lethargic but avoid this as it could affect your body’s ability to adjust to the change. If you do feel you need some extra rest, take a power-nap no longer than 20 minutes as early as possible in the day.