Dr. Andy’s Desk: Here’s Why Daylight Saving Time Can Be Tough on Our Bodies

Dr. Andy’s Desk: Here’s Why Daylight Saving Time Can Be Tough on Our Bodies

Sure, it’s just an hour, but Daylight Saving Time has major implications to our health. 

Daylight Saving Time is one of those relics that has withstood the test of time, whether or not we like it. If you live in an area that observes the time change, you might be the type to find it slightly annoying (hello, changing five different appliance clocks!) – or, you might be someone whose underlying health issues are triggered by the time change.


Health Effects of Daylight Savings Time


Did you know? A U.S. study determined that the risk of heart attack jumped 24 percent the Monday after Daylight Saving Time. The risk tapered off the remainder of the week. Conversely, the risk of heart attacks was 21 percent lower during the fall time change. 


Another study indicated that fatal car crashes spiked by six percent the week following the Spring time change. 


And, economically speaking, certain stock market returns take a downswing after the time change. 


One short hour was lost, several huge implications were gained.


Changing Clocks Doesn’t change Our Internal Clocks


Why is this? Well, put simply, artificially changing our oven clock doesn’t translate to changing our internal clocks. Losing that hour is like jet lag for our brains and bodies. It is flat-out disruptive – more so than we’d like to admit!


Can Result in Sleep Loss

Sleep loss is serious business. Losing the hour of sleep when we “spring forward,” does exacerbate sleep deprivation and fatigue in most people, and it can linger for days or weeks if we don’t ease our bodies into it. 


On a much more positive note, even small increases in sleep can have immediate and longer-term health benefits. Quality sleep means better memory and learning function; better ability to regulate your metabolism; reduced risk of cardiovascular disease; better mood (long- and short-term); and better immunity. One look at the effects of sleep deprivation will make you realize just how important it is!


Regardless of the time of year, there are steps you can take to improve your sleep.


Ways to Deal with Sleep Loss Because of Daylight Savings


One proven way is to try a sleep supplement, like our Good Day Chocolate Sleep line. We offer melatonin in 1mg, 3mg, and 5mg, and you can read more about what might be right for you in this post


Kids and teens, too, can have a tough time adjusting to the time change (and the time change usually exacerbates existing sleep woes). And when your kids don’t sleep, neither do you! We carry two sleep supplements for children that complement each other: Sleep for Kids with Melatonin (that helps with kiddos having trouble falling asleep) and, our new Kids Valerian Root + Theanine Sleep blend (to help with kids getting deep, higher quality sleep). Learn more about how Valerian Root works compared to Melatonin, and how they can each work to send your children to slumberland.


And, because we want to maximize our exposure to daylight to help regulate our internal clocks, I recommend getting outside the day of the time change. Of course, that is easier said than done when you’re feeling sluggish. A few pieces of Good Day Chocolate Energy can help caffeinate and motivate you to stay active so that sleep feels even sweeter that Sunday (and well beyond).


For more tips, check out our post with other ways to make the inevitable Daylight Saving Time transition less difficult.


So, in summary, it isn’t you, it’s DST. The time change is hard on virtually everyone. By making your sleep a priority before, during, and after the time change, though, you’ll rest easier and reap the benefits of high-quality sleep in no time. 


Please consult with your physician prior to taking any supplements.