Why are so many of us in the Midwest tired this week after putting the clocks ahead just one hour? According to research, losing an hour in Spring is more difficult for the body to adjust. Because in actuality, we are disturbing our entire 24 hour clock.
Light tends to be an environmental cue and when there is more natural light in the evening, people tend to be restless. Without even realizing it, they are falling asleep later and waking up in the dark the next day which is more difficult. Actually, Science Direct studied several individuals and found that sleep efficiency was reduced. They also found that people were less productive in the workplace as a result of their body clock being tampered.
For some, especially those that work at night, it can take up to three weeks to recover from the change in time. Age can also have an effect because those older in the study had a more difficult and longer time transitioning to daylight savings. Studies have also shown that we are not conserving energy but using more during this change which automatically makes us more tired even if we are sleeping our normal 7-8 hours of sleep.
If you are having problems adapting to the change even after a few days, here are some tips to deal with the new evening light:
Use the additional daylight hours after work for more exercise. If you can do that outside, you are also providing for more sun exposure that can increase your Vitamin D reserves. If the new light does not coincide with decent temperatures, exercise indoors to promote a better sleep.
Take a morning walk
This can help increase your light consumption so you are not as sleepy during the day.
As you are trying to readjust, do not nap in the afternoon.
Even your meal habits can change because your are off . Watch that you still try to establish the same schedule and not eat that late meal right before bedtime.
Alcohol and medications
Try to stay away from that extra beer; it can really hurt a natural sleep. Medications should be discussed with your doctor or a sleep specialist because even over-the-counter drugs may create other issues.
The benefits of a good night’s sleep can help avoid health issues and even car accidents which have been known to increase. In fact, after the daylight savings changes, studies have shown a 17 percent increase in accidents. Not only will you be improving health, you can achieve better rates both on life insurance and automobile coverage.