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Here’s How Daylight Savings Time Affects Your Health

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Here’s How Daylight Savings Time Affects Your Health

The “extra hour” is back in business. But do we actually “feel” it? We could be using that extra hour for anything, seeing friends, cleaning closets, having just one more drink, but when push comes to shove,most of us really only notice the hour gained while setting the alarm for Sunday morning

Realistically speaking, resetting the clock does some very interesting things to our bodies. That extra hour really does affect our health. Here’s what you should know:

Your body might not notice that extra hour The body’s natural circadian rhythm ― our internal body clock that keep our sleep-wake cycles, temperature, hormones, metabolism and other bodily functions on track-tends to be way more sensitive to light than time. And when it comes to ending daylight saving time, we don’t actually repeat that early-morning hour. Even if your alarm goes off an hour later, you might find yourself waking up at the same time because your body wants to stay on the schedule you’re used to.

“Your circadian rhythm is still operating as it was before,” Ana Krieger, the medical director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, told The New York Times. “It won’t necessarily feel like an hour gained.”

Want to wake up earlier? Try now. The good news is that even if you don’t end up sleeping longer, that extra hour might help you “reset” or recalibrate your body’s internal clock.

Many of us will naturally wake up earlier than usual after the clock change, Teofilo L. Lee-Chiong, Jr., M.D., a sleep expert and professor of medicine at the University of Denver, told Greatist.

If you’ve been wanting to head to the gym earlier, get that morning jog in, or just read the paper, the end of daylight saving time is the ideal time to do it. Your body is going to want to go to bed earlier (because it’s going to get darker earlier) and wake up earlier (because it’s going to get lighter earlier).

Changing the clock might actually affect your heart One study found that the number of heart attacks is actually as much as 21 percent lower than usual for the week following the end of daylight saving time than it is all the other weeks of the year. Other research has linked heart attacks to not getting enough sleep, which could explain why heart attack risk is lower after turning the clocks back-because people tend to get more sleep, the study’s author Amneet Sandhu, a cardiology fellow at the University of Colorado in Denver, told Reuters.

The verdict? You still need to sleep well, wake when your body needs and maintain a healthy lifestyle!

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