Daylight saving time can mess with your health. Here’s how to prepare

Adjusting your body for the time change all comes down to keeping your mind and body healthy

Are you one of those people that hears daylight saving time and thinks, "I get to stay up another hour?" Or are you someone who thinks, "I get another hour of sleep?" Just talking about it can bring anxiety to some who feel entirely thrown off because of the time change. 

At 2 a.m. Sunday, the clocks will roll back one hour, ending the time change known as daylight saving time that began in March for most states. Turning the clocks back allows for an extra hour of daylight in the morning.

To help bring some ease, experts said you should prepare now before the time changes.

"We still have a couple of days to change our sleeping habits, because as we know, this is all about the circadian rhythm, and it’s based on a 24-hour basis," psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Gardere said.

It’s all about the light and the darkness. And when those things begin to change, our hormones start to change, and they can throw us off.

"It’s not as bad as daylight saving time where we’re losing an hour; now, we’re gaining an hour. So there are less impacts on the body," Gardere said. "It really does throw us off." 

However, the transition is not just about the adults. Everyone in the family will go through the time change, and there are impacts on children. 

"They’re going to be thrown off by it, too, by getting this extra hour. And if it throws them off, it’ll throw them off at school where they’re going to be a bit deregulated," Gardere said.

Parents can prepare their kids for the time change by bettering their nutrition to help re-regulate their bodies. 

"Lighter meals for a few days. That is very important," Gardere said. 

And when it comes time for bedtime, the TV should not be on because the light will keep them up even later.

"They’re going to be tired much earlier. That we already know," Gardere said.

But putting your kids or yourself to bed sooner depends on how our bodies regulate energy. 

"I know right now for me, as a senior citizen, I’m still going to go to bed at a certain time. So having that extra hour, I’m going to be much more tired in the evening," Gardere said. "I try to do something in between. I may be going to bed may be a half-hour later than I usually do. And we could do the same thing with our kids."

Gardere advises parents should let their kids find their circadian rhythm because they’re much more resilient. So maybe this just all comes down to a little extra snuggle time, which is suitable for everyone.

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