Illinois Clocks Roll Back This Weekend And It May Affect Your Health
Clocks are about to fall behind this weekend which means there will be more daylight hours. (Yes, it's Daylight Saving time and not savings.) In November, for Illinois, the time change is supposed to be a good thing, a perk. In actuality, just like spring, resetting clocks comes with health risks.
What is Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, in order to make better use of natural daylight. (TimeandDate.com)
Eight months ago we set our clocks ahead an hour and seemingly lost an hour of sleep, most of us it seems. The hour difference may not seem like much but it can have a dramatic effect on your health. The first three days after we "spring forward" are the most dangerous, according to Heart.org.
Researchers found an average 6.7 percent greater risk of heart attack in the three days after the spring change.
Illinois' time change in the fall might mean an extra hour of sleep but there are associated health risks, believe it or not.
Health Risks Associated With Fall DST
Daylight Saving Time in November is supposed to give us more morning light but not so much for later in the day. Many people will be inside all day for work or school or whatever and, by the time they get home, it's dark. This means you're not getting very much natural sunlight. UT Southwestern Medical Center explains why this isn't a good thing.
This means we get less exposure to the sun, which reduces the amount of vitamin D our bodies produce. Low levels of vitamin D are linked to low mood and depression, as well as fatigue, muscle pain, and weakened bones.
With darkness occurring earlier, this can also affect our mood, causing depression in some cases.
Sleep disruptions can also cause an increased risk of mental illness. In the fall, losing an hour of evening light can markedly affect our mood – and signal the beginning of seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that is associated with a lack of sunlight.
There are 5 tips for adjusting to Daylight Saving Time:
Make a gradual shift
Stick to your sleep schedule
Maintain good sleep hygiene
Get out in the sun
Limit your caffeine intake
You can learn more about these tips here.