By Lauren Carter
It’s that time again! While gaining an hour in the Fall may seem like a good thing, it can still affect physical and mental health. According to Pepitone (2018), when the time changes twice a year it can affect health, diet, and even lead to more accidents! Losing or gaining an hour can cause changes in sleep leading to fluctuations with appetite, mood, and balance. These fluctuations can have an impact on overall physical health that has been linked to developing serious health conditions.
For the body to appropriately produce hormones and regulate daily interactions with appetite, mood, and balance the body must have enough sleep. Even though the time changes by one hour, the effects can still have an impact on a person’s sleep and routine. The human body is able to adjust to a routine which is why establishing a routine is such an important part of self-care. In preparation for the time change, here are a few self-care tips to help adjust to the transition:
· Get as much light as possible first thing in the morning as this helps adjust circadian rhythms.
· Exercise in the morning; with the exposure to more light and the rise in body temperature you will feel more energized for the day. And this also helps with mood and overall physical health.
· Go to bed at the same time the night before the time change to give your body that extra hour of sleep.
· Try not to over-caffeinate to adjust to the time change.
· Avoid taking a nap; it can be common to feel the need to make up for the change in time with a nap, but it could alter your normal sleeping pattern or routine (Pepitone, 2018).
Overall, the idea behind self-care is developing awareness of physical, emotional, and mental health needs and addressing them. Practice self-care daily, not only in regards to the time change, to see a positive impact on stress levels which ultimately influences health and happiness. It can be hard as helping professionals to remember to make our own physical and mental health a priority, but it is so important. Enjoy the Fall season and the extra hour of sleep, but also enjoy self-care!
Pepitone, J. (2018, November 1). Daylight saving time: 4 surprising health effects of ‘falling back’. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/know-your-value/feature/daylight-saving-time-4-surprising-health-effects-falling-back-ncna929546