5 Ways Daylight Saving Time Affects Your Health
Yay, more sunlight! Boo, unpleasant side effects
Just in case you forgot, daylight saving time is this Sunday at 2 a.m. The good news is you'll have more one more hour of daylight; the bad news is that you'll be losing an hour of sleep. While missing out on 60 minutes of z?s for one night won't have a huge impact on your health, it can throw your body for a temporary loop, says sleep expert Shirin Shafazand, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami. Check out what could happen to you come Sunday and Monday morning.
You might overeat. Skimping on sleep can create a hormonal imbalance within your body, particularly by upping the production of ghrelin?a hormone that regulates hunger?says Shafazand. Higher levels of ghrelin may cause you to give in to your cravings and eat more than you should. Fear not?these 15 foods that suppress appetite will keep your stomach in check.
Your blood pressure increases. In fact, your chance of a heart attack may rise about 10 percent after daylight saving time, according to a study from the University of Alabama. "When you're sleep-deprived, your sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive, which puts more stress on your body," says Shafazand. Check out all of the great ways you can keep your heart healthy.
You'll feel tired earlier than normal. Even though it's only 9 p.m., your body will feel like it?s actually 10 p.m. When it tells you it's time to unwind, you should listen to it, says Shafazand. Going to bed sooner on Sunday will help your body compensate for the lost hour so you'll feel less groggy on Monday.
You may be happier. Here's a ray of sunshine to perk you up: When you leave work, the sun should still be shining. Sunlight has been known to boost serotonin levels, which in turn elevates your mood. Sweet.
You'll have trouble focusing in the a.m. OK, this one's a little obvious, but you can expect extra grogginess the morning after daylight saving time, says Shafazand. Your circadian rhythm is a little out of whack due to the lack of sleep, and your body won't be used to missing out on an hour of light exposure in the morning. But even though your concentration levels may take a dip, these eight natural ways to feel more energized can keep your mind sharp without your having to resort to coffee.
Don't worry too much about how daylight saving time affects your health?most of these side effects will fade after two or three days, when your body has adjusted to the time difference. Also, you should keep in mind that people who are already sleep-deprived will feel worse after daylight saving time than those who go into it well rested. Make sure you catch enough z's this weekend by using these 15 tricks to sleep better.