Jim Rollince is a member of the creating writing department of Gym Source. He enjoys writing about Fitness, Nutrition, and many other related topics.
Soon we will be regaining that crucial hour of sleep we lost back in the spring. In early November, we will set our clocks back an hour, effectively adding an extra sixty minutes to our day. Daylight saving time (DST) will be coming to a close. While few people will argue with an extra hour’s sleep, many people might not understand why we reset our clocks twice a year. Others might wonder what effect this time change can have on our bodies.
Origin of Daylight Saving Time
Many people mistakenly use the phrase “daylight savings time,” but in the spring we actually enter daylight saving time. Benjamin Franklin was the first to realize that waking after the sun had already risen meant that he was wasting daylight and doing much of his work in the darkness of evening. Being an industrious and inventive man, Mr. Franklin devised a plan to save daylight hours by resetting the clock.
Though Mr. Franklin believed his plan was the perfect way to increase productivity during a certain time of year, DST did not immediately catch on. The Germans began implementing daylight saving time during WWI in order to save energy, while the United States made it mandatory during WWII for the same reasons. After the war, daylight saving was made optional. Certain U.S. territories and states like Arizona and Hawaii choose not to participate and leave their clocks untouched year round.
Time Change Tips
Because of various studies across the country, the energy saving benefits from DST are widely argued. However, DST has a definite effect on our health. Extra sleep is one of the most obvious effects. So many Americans have trouble sleeping, and despite adding another hour, our bodies must still acclimate themselves to the changes in sleep, meals and sunlight.
Below you will find a few time-tested methods for handling the time change.
1) Slow the Transition – Rather than changing your clock in the wee hours of Sunday morning, try setting your clock back on Friday night instead. While the idea is to avoid disrupting the workweek, a sudden time-change on Sunday morning can be difficult to accept. Giving yourself an extra two days to get adjusted can make for a much smoother Monday.
2) Change Mealtimes – A body that is accustomed to eating at a certain time can be derailed by time change, forcing you to eat when you aren’t truly hungry and causing you to snack at inappropriate times. Eat light snacks while you are adjusting to the new schedule, but make sure not to overeat at bedtime. A full stomach can interrupt your rest. You should also be mindful of the amount of alcohol you consume. The effects of alcohol can easily destroy the quality of your sleep.
3) Ramp Up the Workout – Exercise is an essential part of health throughout our lives, but it can be a great way to adjust to the time change as well. A good workout causes the brain to produce endorphins, a chemical that affects mood, sleep and eating habits. Keeping these in balance helps the transition. Try some fast workouts on treadmills and ellipticals this fall to stay ahead of the curve.
4) Wake Up, Sleepyhead – Our bodies are programmed to respond to the change from day to night. So, during the time change we can enhance this reaction. Open your blinds or turn on bright lights in the early morning. This will signal your body that it’s go time. At night, turn down the lights and turn off any electronics, allowing your body to settle into sleep in peace.
Has the time change still got you down?
Make sure you listen carefully to the clues your body is giving you and speak to your physician about any lasting problems. In no time at all you will have forgotten all about saving daylight…until next year.