Every spring we set the clocks forward, losing an hour of sleep in the process but gaining an hour of sunlight each day afterwards. Let’s review the positive and negative health effects of this yearly change and what we can do to make the transition easier!
As we approach the start of Daylight Saving Time (DST), it is important to consider the potential health effects that this time change can have on our bodies. DST is the practice of setting the clock forward by one hour during the spring and setting it back by one hour in the fall. This time shift can disrupt our circadian rhythm and lead to both positive and negative health effects.
One of the positive effects is that DST can help us get more exposure to natural light! With the longer days, we tend to spend more time outside, which can boost mood and vitamin D levels. Exposure to natural light is also linked to better sleep quality, which can have a positive impact on overall health, including mental health.
The shift, especially when we lose an hour in the spring, can disrupt our sleep patterns leading to feelings of fatigue and difficulty concentrating. This also causes a shift in the body’s natural rhythm, which can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. Studies have shown DST can even increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes by increasing stress hormone production which can have a significant impact on cardiovascular health.
There are many things you can do to help make the switch easier and mitigate some of the potential negative effects:
By following these tips, you can help mitigate the negative effects of Daylight Saving Time and promote better sleep and overall health. At Radish Health, we are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal health, even during times of change and disruption.
If you are expecting difficulties with the transition, or if you have sleep concerns in general, please feel free to make an appointment with your Radish doctor to discuss further!
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