Fall Back Wisely


That’s right, it is our bi-annual clock changing habit this weekend — fall back an hour.

Have you ever noticed that your body starts to adjust to the fading light? I decided to track my waking and bedtimes leading into this fall’s time change. Well, as of this week, my body has already fallen back one hour!

Curious about this phenomenon, I decided to investigate whether there is any research to support what my body does so naturally.  As it turns out, your body’s internal, daily rhythms don’t adjust with you in the spring when you “lose” an hour of sleep suggests a study from 2007. [1]  Basically, your biological timing stays on standard, winter time, while you have to adjust your social schedules to the advanced clock time throughout the summer. Simply put, your internal circadian clock does not adjust to the initial spring forward. But come autumn’s fall back, your body returns to what it knows best.

Tweetable: “An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.” — Winston Churchill [2] 

Common Mistakes Regarding the Time Change [3]

  • Staying up later thinking that you’re going to get an extra hour of sleep
    Drinking alcohol close to bedtime or consuming caffeine in the afternoon or later (after all it is the weekend, right — not a good idea)
  • Taking a lengthy or late afternoon nap, which could throw your sleep timing off

Tips to Transition to Your Fall and Winter Rhythm

  • Use morning sunlight to help your body reset – The autumn time change is easier for most people than the spring ahead where you “lose” one hour of sleep. A good hack to make the transition easier on your body: “Try to get as much late afternoon sun exposure before switching the clocks back, and as much morning sun exposure as possible after switching the clocks to help ease the transition.” [4]
  • Ease yourself into the time change – starting Friday night, go to bed 10-15 minutes earlier and rise 10-15 minutes later. By Monday morning, you’ll have adjusted. If you are struggling with drowsiness, take a quick “cat” nap — that’s means a short nap.
    Sleep your “normal” number of hours – if you normally sleep, seven or eight hours, maintain that rhythm. Sleeping well and having healthy sleep hygiene equates to less stress and improved overall health.

For ideas on transitioning smoothly, pop on over to this website (http://observer.com/2017/11/use-daylight-savings-time-to-your-advantage-this-fall/) and scroll to the end of the article for a list of more ideas. [5]

Are you wondering what healthy sleep hygiene entails? Wonder no more. As a nutritional consultant, I also can suggest lifestyle habits that can spill over into improved wellbeing. Health is more than diet, it includes lifestyle too. So take a moment to book your free Discovery Chat with Brenda. How? Email or call (403.801.5698) to schedule your private chat.


Resources

[1] Kantermann et al.: “The Human Circadian Clock’s Seasonal Adjustment Is Disrupted by Daylight Saving Time.” Publishing in Current Biology 17, 1–5, November 20, 2007. DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2007.10.025

[2] Maria Vultaggio, “Daylight Saving Time Quotes: 9 Sayings About Changing Clocks An Hour” 10/31/15 http://www.ibtimes.com/daylight-saving-time-quotes-9-sayings-about-changing-clocks-hour-2156942
[3] Patrick Murray, “Fall Time Change and How to Adjust Your Sleep for the Winter” Published Oct 30, 2013. http://www.sleepeducation.org/news/2013/10/30/fall-time-change-and-how-to-adjust-your-sleep-for-the-winter (accessed Nov 01 2017)

[4] Kelly Fitzpatrick, “What Daylight Saving Time Does to Your Body,” for Life by DailyBurn, October 23, 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/23/health/daylight-savings-time-body-effects/index.html (accessed Nov 01 2017)

[5] David B. Samadi, “How to Use Daylight Savings Time to Your Advantage This Fall,”
11/01/17 http://observer.com/2017/11/use-daylight-savings-time-to-your-advantage-this-fall/

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About Brenda

As a nutrition consultant and educator, I aim to support you in achieving health and vitality through natural wholesome foods and lifestyle transformation. Ready to change yourself from the inside out? Then contact Brenda today -- hello@wattworksnutrition.ca