Health & Wellness
Tips to Beat the Time Change
Falling back and gaining an hour may seem glorious when we think of an extra hour of sleep, or an extra hour to enjoy your morning routine before the hectic day sets in. However, although it is only an hour time change, it surprisingly may have many adverse health effects on us. The human body thrives off of good routine and consistency. Daylight savings time (DST) was introduced during WW1, in an effort to reduce artificial lighting and conserve energy resources. However, there is not a lot of concrete evidence showing DST reduces energy consumption at all. Currently, there is a lot of talk of abolishing daylight savings time completely. Many states and provinces in North America are taking into consideration the deleterious health effects and cost concerns when it comes to DST. Changing your clock may soon be a thing of the past, but until then, let’s discuss some of the ways we can support our body naturally through this period of change.
Ease into itTry and avoid napping during the day if you are fatigued by the time change. Napping makes sleeping later in the evening much more of a struggle. Try and go for a walk, get some fresh air, and let nature re-energize you. It is important to get a full night’s rest, and getting to bed at an appropriate time will ensure you do. If you find that you are having trouble falling asleep an hour earlier than usual, try starting with just 10 minutes earlier, and build your way up to that full hour over the course of a few days.
Keep it naturalYour body has a clock, and it is set by the dark/light cycles of the sun. When you wake up in the morning, expose yourself to natural light. Seeing the morning sun will help set your circadian rhythm and assist your metabolic signalling pathways. It is also important to turn down the lights and avoid bright artificial lighting on smart phones and tablets while you are trying to wind down. You can also try drinking a calming tea, such as chamomile tea, and taking a warm bath to calm you down in the evening. Let your body know it is time for rest by creating a night time routine that is natural and relaxing.
Don’t eat late!The way we effectively metabolize food has a great deal to do with our circadian rhythm. When we eat heavy meals in the evening hours, it is hard for our body to sufficiently digest. Our organ systems that help us metabolise and utilize the foods we eat, work best in the earlier hours of the day. If you can avoid late night snacking and over-eating at dinner time, you will begin to notice you are sleeping and feeling better.
Your body is miraculous and will adjust in due time. Enjoy the extra hour and take good care of yourself.
XO Amy WilsonAmy is a certified nutritionist with over 7 years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. She is currently in her fourth year as a Naturopathic Medical Student and has a special interest in gut and brain health. Find her on Instagram: @amy_kwilson