Despite the common misconception, you don’t actually get an extra hour of sleep from changing the clocks back according to Caitlin Coyle at the Rutgers University.
Daylight saving time just changes our circadian rhythm, which can disrupt our biological clocks and impact our health; such as hormone production and sleep patterns and cause disturbances in sleep, metabolism, mood, bodily functions and productivity.
So you may be feeling sleepy, listless, stressed and tired for a while. What can we do? Do not fight the change. The sooner you adapt, the sooner you will feel normal again, so adjust your eating and sleep schedules accordingly.
Secondly, winter affects exposure to sunlight, so our biological clocks gradually adjust and synchronize to shorter daylight periods. Individuals suffering from seasonal effective disorder (SAD) do not adapt well and can become depressed and suffer physiological consequences. If you think you have this condition, you may improve your mood and function by using a light therapy box for several hours each day.
Reference: Caitlin Coyle at the Rutgers University
Also called the sunshine vitamin, vit. D has a dual role as both a vitamin and hormone because our body can produce vitamin D by the action of sunlight on the skin.
With reduced sun light exposure in the winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is prevalent when vitamin D stores are typically low.
Increase your consumption of Vit D rich roods like fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon, beef liver, egg yolks, grass fed butter or Vit. D fortified foods.
Supplementation is sometimes recommended. Questions on if you need to be supplementing, reach out and contact me.
Good luck on adjusting to the clock change. And if you are anything like me, I don’t tell my kids the time has changed… early to bed for them.