Circadiance Blog

Coping with DST

Coping with Daylight Saving Time

Posted by Circadiance on Nov 9, 2021 1:07:21 PM

Daylight Saving Time (DST) ended on Sunday, November 7, but it will affect our bodies for more than just one night. An hour seems like a minor change, but moving the clock by one hour can be very disruptive to our sleep, daily life, and overall health.

Typically, "springing forward" is associated with loss of sleep and tiredness, but any adjustment to your schedule can have a negative impact. DST throws off your body's "clock", otherwise known as circadian rhythms, and can trigger underlying health issues. When we move the time clock by one hour, our bodies remain partly on the prior schedule. Even though you gained an hour of sleep, we rarely get right on track with the new timing within a day, and the loss of daylight in the afternoon often results in additional stress, depression, and tiredness throughout the winter. 

Coping with DST is different for everyone, but there are general best practices that will help you get the rest you need and lead a healthy lifestyle:

  • Make the most of the daylight. Studies have shown that more time spent outside or in natural light improves mental and physical health. We suggest going for a walk during the day!
  • Prioritize your sleep schedule. Consistency is the key to feeling well-rested day-in, day-out. Try to go to sleep at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning. 
  • Stick to the script. If your doctor has prescribed you medicine, therapy, CPAP, or anything else to benefit your health—stick with it. 
  • Eat right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but the other two shouldn't be forgotten. 
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol for several hours prior to bedtime, as they can disrupt sleep.

How do you cope with DST? Do you think we should continue to have it or should legislation change? Let us know in the comments below.

Topics: Sleep Health