Daylight savings is when the clock is pushed back or pushed forward one hour. This can lead to surprising mental health affects that impact your sleep. By knowing how daylight savings can impact your sleeping schedule, you will know what you need to do to fix it.

Trouble Getting Enough Sleep

It can be confusing when we are used to sleeping a few hours after it starts getting dark. When it gets dark earlier, we do not feel like going to sleep. You may wake up and it is still dark even though this is normally the time you are usually ready to start the day. If you wake up and it is still dark, try turning on a nearby light. The same can be said when it gets dark early and you turn on the light to remind yourself it is not time for bed. You can make it a routine to fall asleep and wake up at the same time to ease back to your normal routine.

Mood Changes

When you experience poor sleep, your mood and concentration tend to change. When the sun rises early, you are aware it means shorter days. It can be related to seasonal affective disorder where you experience depressive symptoms in early fall or winter when you do not experience enough sunlight. When we experience light changes during daylight savings, it influences the stress hormones in our bodies. You should incorporate relaxing habits like drinking tea which has the stress-reducing amino L-theanine. If this is because of seasonal depressive disorder, you can try to use a light box every day for 20-40 minutes as it can show significant mood improvement.

A Change in Diet and Fitness

Daylight savings can be disrupted to our internal clocks. Bodily functions are disrupted including our appetites, body temperature, bowel function, and heart and lung function. Since these functions are controlled by the brain’s internal clock, you may feel hungrier than usual or your digestion appears abnormal. It is important to stick with your normal exercise routine of half an hour to an hour a day. Any protein-heavy meals should be saved for earlier in the day since it requires more digestion and may disrupt your sleep. Daylight savings may not be in your control, but you can gain real life control by sticking with your normal routine and taking care of your physical and mental health. 

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