HealingForReal

Daylight Saving Time Puts Your Health at Risk

daylightsaving

Early to bed, early to rise is an age-old saying and some pretty great advice (unless you’re a teenager when body rhythms change a bit naturally). The biggest cue in telling your body to wake up is LIGHT. The sun comes up, the body wakes up. In her book, The Sleep Solution Emily Benefit talks about the importance of a dark room at night and getting lots of light during the day. Waking up with the sun is healthy and feels amazing.

Unfortunately, we’ve created a society that runs on time schedules instead of light schedules, which would be a lot better for our health. Imagine if your meeting were scheduled by the sun. Work would start at “Sunrise +1.5 hours”. Or you’d drop the kids off at school at “Sunrise +1 hour”  instead of a rigid 8:00 am.  Bedtime would be shortly after sunset and you’d get to sleep until the sun rose every day. Sleep is a big deal! In fact, the Monday after Daylight Saving time has been shown to have an increase in traffic accidents, workplace accidents, and suicides because of the loss of that precious hour of sleep. Web surfing increases that day, too and sends productivity plummeting.

For our family, the effects of Daylight Saving time are a nuisance in the fall. We don’t use alarm clocks, so waking up at a set time is tricky when the light is slowly disappearing. I’ve thought about using one of the many fun wake-up apps for mobile devices, but we don’t keep our mobile devices by our bed for other health reasons.

I’ve even thought about buying a wake up light (like this one). I don’t like the idea of a temporary fix, but I can’t exactly tell my kids’ school that we don’t observe Daylight Saving time. My husband has a flexible schedule and he does end up going in later as the light changes in the winter. Lucky!

Every year, I wait anxiously for the change back to standard time. (IT’S ON NOVEMBER 3rd!) YAY! Some of my friends mourn the loss of the extra light in the evening, but I know that it is great for natural sleep rhythms and will help bring on the droopy eyes earlier in the evening. The kids sleep better, we all wake up happier and life is good.

Now, to convince the world to go back to using sundials…

 

 

 

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