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Work Smarter Not Harder: “Spring Ahead” to DST Will Impact More Than Just Your Sleep

Soon we will “Spring Ahead,” into Daylight Saving Time.  It starts Sunday, March 8, 2020, when we turn the clocks forward, one hour, and lose one hour of sleep.

Dr. Phyllis Zee, the Director for Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University, warns that there are some health effects, which often come with the time change.  She tells Hannah Knowles from 3WWMT:

Heart attacks occur at a higher rate during that Monday morning, and that week after daylight saving time,” Zee said. Productivity, brain fog, [trouble trying to] focus…  These are all things you might notice at work, the Monday after.”

Another aspect of daylight saving time:  It impacts your biological clock.  Zee says that clock tells us when the best time is to eat, sleep, and it governs metabolic activity.

“Daylight saving time can impact your blood pressure, and your ability to fight off infections, as well as productivity.  It’s important we keep our bodies in line with ‘sun clocks,'” Zee adds.

Zee tells Knowles that it’s important to start preparing now.

AND IT’S HARDER ON KIDS:  “Start adjusting your bodies earlier than you think especially if you have young kids,” Zee said. “Sleep is so important for growing children. An hour of sleep might not seem like much; but to their bodies, it is.”

There are ways to mitigate these negative effects.  Zee recommends:

  • Transition gradually to the time change:  Especially for those taking care of children, start now by putting children to bed 15 minutes earlier and then moving that back until it is an entire hour earlier.
  • Avoid bright lights before bed:  This includes TV, phone/tablet screens, and computers.
  • Get some exercise:  Aim for at least 30 minutes, most days of the week.
  • Get up if you cannot sleep:  If you’ve been awake for more than 20 minutes, get up, go to another room, and do something relaxing to help you get drowsy, like read a book

Click HERE to see the full article from Hannah Knowles, at WWMT Channel 3.

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