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The End of Daylight Savings and Your Health

November 12, 2019

November 3rd marked the end of what we know as daylight savings. It means you got an extra hour of sleep. And as odd as it may be the end of daylight savings could mean great things for your health. According to research in the U.S, risk for heart attack dropped 21 percent on the Tuesday after the fall time change on one study. Other similar studies have shown similar findings.

So while many of us are disappointed with the days getting darker sooner, it’s great to know that turning the clocks ahead can mean positive health effects. There is no definitive exact explanation on why this is. But, you can take advantage of what might be a boost in overall health. It may have something to do with our body clock and/or our circadian rhythm being disrupted. Whatever it is, it can be a great opportunity to begin new healthy habits.

The Decline of Healthy Habits

While some parts of the country will stay warm throughout the year, we at Homecare Powered by AUAF serve the Chicagoland area. And with that means cold weather as the end of daylight savings kicks in. This also means more people staying indoors and less exposure to the sun.

This doesn’t mean that you have to stop the healthy habits you may have formed over the summer. Things like walks or going swimming may have come to a halt, but you can easily find things to replace them.

What Kind of Healthy Habits to Start

For example, if it’s too cold to make it outside for a daily walk, opt for following some sort of workout routine indoors. This can include things like following a guided workout video or routine. Dozens of resources are available on the web for your level of fitness. You can include low level weights to your routine, or choose to opt out of weights. The great thing is that you have many options.

Another great option is making a daily cleaning routine around the house. Many people don’t realize that an hour or two of cleaning around the house can mean a great deal of exercise. Of course, if you are physically unable to clean the house due to age or immobility, this isn’t the option for you.

Beyond exercise becoming one of your healthy habits, you need to make sure you are taking care of your mental health. The days getting darker sooner can take a toll on the mental health of anyone at any age. You need to make sure that you are scheduling time throughout the day to see loved ones, incorporate crafts or board games into your day for fun, or even just finding time to bake and relax. The important thing is finding something that can keep you busy and relaxed. It will make getting through the cold days that much easier.

How Does it Contrast to Daylight Savings Time in The Spring?

On the other hand, in the springtime, when we adjust an hour back, or what we know as daylight savings, means opposite health effects. At that time we gain more daylight, which is nice because we get to enjoy more of the sun, but we lose an hour of sleep that initial day. And studies show that one hour adjusted back means an increased risk of heart attack, car crashes, workplace injuries. This could again be for many reasons. Those reasons include sleep deprived people or what becomes an ill-adjusted internal clock.

What’s Important About This Change

While November marks the end of daylight savings, and that boost in health, you shouldn’t be sitting back idle. All this shows is your health can be affected by something as little as a one hour change in your sleeping pattern. There are dozens of studies published showing how sleep affects our health. This is only an indication that it may mean more than we even think it does. Other studies show that these changes most affect people that are already of ill or compromised health. So, if you happen to be a senior or in your elderly years this can be really important to think about.

Conclusion

As we are in the heart of Fall and the end of daylight savings, take it as a time to reflect on your overall health. Whatever age you are, your health needs to be something that is a priority. And if you are a senior, your health means the difference between enjoying you elderly or not.

References

https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20081029/daylight-saving-time-may-affect-heart

https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/10/26/can-daylight-saving-time-hurt-the-heart-prepare-now-for-spring

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