On the surface, losing an hour of sleep every night would not seem to harm your health. But the extra hour can have a big impact, especially for those of us who already sleep less than the recommended seven to nine hours per night. Therefore, our Albertville family dentists share five tips for not feeling tired when you set your clocks ahead an hour so that you can get a jump start on the time change.
How does changing the clock ahead an hour affect my sleep?
The consequences of changing the clocks for DST are comparable to jet lag, which can have long-term negative impacts on health. For instance, in a previous study, researchers discovered a 24 percent rise in the incidence of heart attacks on the first Monday after the spring DST. Over the week, the risk diminished. The Tuesday after “fall back,” on the other hand, was connected to a 21% risk reduction.
How does the time change affect the circadian rhythm?
According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, circadian rhythms cause physiological, psychological, and behavioral changes in the body that keep us healthy. For instance, hormones are produced in the morning to increase energy and speed up digestion (NIGMS). Our dentist in Albertville explains that cortisol levels typically increase at the same time every morning to provide the energy you need to transition gradually from sleeping to an awake state. Without cortisol’s assistance, your heart needs to work harder, which raises your chance of developing heart issues.
How should you prepare for the time change?
Seasonal time changes can create negative effects on your body and your life. Fortunately, there are some steps outlined below that Albertville sleep apnea dentists recommend to help reduce the time change’s impact on your health.
Start with a Good Night’s Sleep
It will be far less of an issue if you typically get eight hours of sleep every night than if you typically get six hours and miss an hour. If you’re not already on the best sleep schedule, use the time change to review how much sleep you’re receiving and focus on establishing excellent sleep habits.
Gradually Adjust Your Sleep Schedule the Week Before
Start shifting your wake-up time each morning by 15 minutes earlier as Daylight Savings Time (DST) draws near. So, on Monday before DST starts, go to bed at 10:45 p.m. if your regular bedtime is 11 p.m. Try to end your session the next night at about 10:30 and continue until the hour mark has passed.
Gradually Postpone Your Dinner
When you eat too close to bedtime, your body is too preoccupied with digesting to worry about calming down for the night, which might make it difficult to fall asleep. It’s a good idea to cease eating three to four hours before going to bed. Beginning approximately a week before DST begins, try to move your final meal by 15-minute increments to an hour earlier to avoid any disruptions to that pattern.
The Night Before DST Begins, Change Your Clocks
Remember to set your clocks ahead before going to bed the night before DST, and it may help you feel less confused by the time shift. When you awaken the next morning, you will be prepared to start living according to the new time.
Start the Day with Sunlight
Even while there will inevitably be some delay in your circadian rhythm following DST, you may use natural sunlight to get your body clock as near to the solar clock as you can. Early in the morning, get 15 minutes of sunshine. If you reside in a warmer climate, go outside, or sip your morning coffee near a window. Later, stay away from using electronics too close to your bedtime that emits blue light.
Family Dentists in Albertville, Alabama
There is evidence that the time adjustment may still have an impact on your health, even though your body will naturally adapt to the new schedule after a few days or a week. However, when you follow the above tips to prepare your body for the time change, it can have less of an impact. If you have questions about how sleep affects your body or want to know more, please contact our Albertville family dentist’s office. Please call Wall Street Dentistry at (256) 878-0525 or contact us online to request an appointment.