Spring Forward Is Tomorrow Morning!
Spring forward is tomorrow morning. To minimize the effect of daylight saving time, remember to set your clock forward one hour before you go to bed tonight.
This weekend marks the return of daylight saving time (DST) for most of the United States. To help ensure a smooth transition to the new time, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends that you begin to adjust your sleep schedule a few days prior to the beginning of DST.
The return of daylight saving time is a good time to examine your individual sleep pattern. Along with diet and exercise, sleep is one of keys to maximize your health. Proper rest is also vital to a well-functioning immune system.
The conversion to DST, with its forced loss of one hour of sleep and a change in sleep schedule, can sometimes result in complaints of disrupted daytime functioning. This problem, surprisingly, can last as long as one to two weeks in some people, especially the ‘night-owl’ type of person.
Daylight saving time officially begins at 2 a.m., Sunday, March 10. The spring change to DST may have a variety of negative effects on health and safety. It can disrupt your sleep and enhance restlessness, causing daytime drowsiness. Research even suggests that the loss of sleep caused by springing forward one hour may be related to an increase in heart attacks.
In a Swedish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists found a decline in the reported number of heart attacks on the Monday after daylight savings than at any other time of year. In fact, when the clocks go forward in the spring and we lose an hour of sleep, there is a marked spike in the number of heart attacks that following week.
The Power Of Shut-Eye!
Why is getting enough shut-eye so important to heart health?
It has been found that the premium number of hours of sleep a person needs per night is 7 to 8 hours, yet most Americans are lucky if they get six hours of sleep a night. During sleep, many metabolic functions take place that can only take place during these darkened hours. The body’s circadian rhythms are hard-wired to respond to the earth’s light cycle. We respond to sunrise and sundown by releasing different hormones at different times of the day. For example, melatonin, which induces sleep and relaxation, cannot be produced in the body during daylight hours.
When we deprive ourselves of sleep, our body senses danger and it produces more stress hormones like cortisol. Our body is always on edge, always in alert mode and this puts an enormous amount of stress on the body, including elevated levels of inflammation. Diseases such as heart attacks are a direct result of elevated levels of inflammation.
So it’s no exaggeration then, when we say that lack of sleep can shorten your life.
Also, injuries from traffic accidents following the time change. Almost 20 percent of all serious car crash injuries in the general population are associated with driver sleepiness, independent of alcohol effects.
Use this time of year to assess your sleeping patterns and change bad habits like mindlessly watching late-night TV instead of going to bed early. Promise yourself you’ll get more sleep every night and your heart will thank you.
Tips to help you cope with the upcoming change to Daylight saving time (DST):
• Try to go to bed 15 or 20 minutes earlier each night before the time change. This will give your body a chance to adjust.
• Begin to adjust the timing of other daily routines that are “time cues” for your body. For example, start eating dinner a little earlier each night.
• On Saturday night, set your clocks ahead one hour in the early evening. Then go to sleep at your normal bedtime.
• Try to go outside for some early morning sunlight on Sunday. The bright light will help set your “body clock,” which regulates sleep and alertness.
• Be careful when driving or operating machinery if you feel drowsy on Sunday.
• Stick to your bedtime on Sunday night to get plenty of sleep before the workweek begins on Monday.
We all have trouble sleeping from time to time, but when insomnia persists day after day, it can become a real problem. Beyond making us tired and moody, a lack of sleep can have serious effects on our health.
Of course, one night of short sleep won’t put you at serious risk, but one week can. The cumulative long-term effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of other deleterious health consequences including an increased risk of hypertension, being overweight or obese, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and depression, or more severe, seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It will also affect your hormone levels and accelerate aging.
Sleep deprivation may may also have severe effects on performance, alertness, memory, concentration and reaction times. A fatigued person is accident prone and more likely to make mistakes and bad decisions, increasing their risk of a work, sport or personal injury.
Sleep Better and Have More Energy With Chiropractic
If you are waking up tired every morning and finding yourself yawning all day long, you may be experiencing problems that could be preventing you from having a restful sleep every night. For those who regularly experience low energy due to lack of sleep, a spinal adjustment from a St Paul MN Chiropractor can help improve sleep patterns and put the vitality back in your life.
They may also provide you with some surefire strategies for a truly good night’s sleep about diet, weight loss, exercise, and other lifestyle factors that can affect your sleep. By getting enough sleep your system will be firing on all cylinders. You will feel better, you will have more energy and you will increase your quality of life and… All the time!