Monday, 15 October 2018

13 Ways Daylight Saving Is Wrecking Your Health

This time-honored practice of setting clocks forward one hour every spring comes with a few unexpected consequences for your mind, body, and soul.

You’ll lose your rhythm

Your circadian rhythm—an internal clock—regulates things like your digestion, metabolism, and your sleep-wake cycle. “Our brain relies on sunlight to understand when it’s time to wake up, and when it’s time to go to sleep,” explains Keith Cushner, founder of the sleep site “During daylight saving time (DST), our internal clock tells us it’s evening, but if our brain still sees light outside, it assumes it should stay awake.” The brain mixes up the release of key hormones as a result, which explains why it is much more difficult for people to adjust their sleep schedule to DST, he says.

You’ll feel jet lagged

“When we set our clocks forward one hour, our brain isn’t tired because it’s still light outside,” Cushner explains. “As a result, we have trouble falling asleep when it’s bedtime, and an even tougher time waking up the next day.” What’s crazy is that studies confirm that humans never truly adjust to DST. “Our circadian rhythms dictate our sleep-wake cycles, not what the clock says,” Cushner adds. Find out 11 other facts

You’ll be sleep deprived

Given that as many as one in three adults don’t get enough sleep as it is, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s no surprise that DST is enough to make things worse. “With an aging population comes health-disturbed sleep—things like insomnia associated with nocturia (waking two or more times at night to use the bathroom) impacts more than 40 million Americans,” says Thomas Roth, PhD, founder of the Sleep Disorders Center and Research Center at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Don’t miss these things sleep doctors never do during daylight saving time.

You’ll be more vulnerable to illness

Your immune system protects you from sicknesses large and small, and sleep happens to be key in maintaining your immunity. Deprive your body of rest and you’ll be more susceptible to viruses, bacteria, and even cancer. “There is data that shows middle and high school students’ absenteeism due to illness can be predicted based on their amount of sleep,” says Dr. Roth. “What’s more, if you’re sleep deprived and a doctor gives you a shot for immunization, the vaccination can be ineffective.”

You could feel depressed

“The nearly full hour of sleep loss experienced after DST results in sleep deprivation that triggers mental health disorders like depression and bipolar disorder, as well as general moodiness,” explains Cushner. In fact, the incidence of depression increases by 11 percent after DST, according to research published in the journal Epidemiology.

You’ll take longer to recover from workouts

During deep sleep, your body works to restore and repair your muscles; during REM sleep, your brain consolidates muscle memory. “When your sleep is cut short by 40 minutes due to DST, we experience lesser amounts of both deep and REM sleep,” he says. Here’s what happens when you don’t get enough sleep.

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