(WXYZ) — In today’s Health Alert, clocks spring forward this Sunday at 2 AM for Daylight Saving Time. That means we all lose one hour of sleep.
Losing one hour of sleep doesn’t seem like a lot, but it can really affect your body. That’s because it can take days for your body to adjust and you end up with cumulative sleep loss. That not only makes you fatigued, but it can also mess with your focus and attention span, which can lead to unexpected mishaps.
In fact, research has found that Daylight Saving Time can increase workplace injuries and car accidents too.
Also, studies have linked one hour of lost sleep to long-term health issues like depression, cluster headaches, slowed metabolism, and weight gain. On top of that, research has found an 8% risk of stroke rate and a 24% higher risk of heart attacks during the week following the time change.
Planning for the time change in advance will definitely help. Here’s what you can do:
Don’t start off sleep-deprived. Make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep every night before the clock springs ahead this Sunday. And if you have kids, as I do, check to see how much they need, as the recommendation varies based on age.
Next, every night head to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. And get up 15 minutes earlier too. This helps your body transition easier and this small change works great with kids.
And speaking of the beds, avoid electronic devices for 2 hours prior to bedtime. The blue light that’s emitted is very stimulating and suppresses melatonin. That’s the hormone that helps you sleep.
Also, make sure your evening activities are relaxing. Read a book, meditate, or have a nice long bath. But skip alcohol, as it can disrupt sleep. And avoid caffeine four to six hours before bedtime.
Additionally, first thing in the morning, try to expose yourself to the morning light. It helps reset your internal clock. However, if it’s still dark when you wake up, use bright artificial light instead.
Lastly, be sure to exercise as it helps promote better sleep. Morning is best, as it helps you feel awake and revitalized. But the afternoon works well if you can’t fit it in earlier.
I hope these simple steps help ease you into daylight saving time. Not everyone is a fan of the time change, but I like having the additional sunlight in the evenings.
There are many reasons why couples choose to adopt. No matter what they are, the process can be daunting, unfamiliar, and sometimes scary. With various forms of legal adoption and the added option of international adoption, it’s hard to know exactly where to start. In this episode, Dr. Partha Nandi, MD dissects the process of adoption with experts in the field and addresses the emotional issues adoptive parents, birth parents, and children all go through. Plus, a family who adopted three children share how birth parents can still be involved. And a young woman explains how she was adopted from Russia and its impact on her. Watch the Dr. Nandi Show this Sunday, March 12th at 1:35 am. *please note this is technically Monday as it's after midnight.