Twice a year the clocks are changed in order to preserve more daylight during our waking hours, and twice a year the population becomes out of balance as a result. During the fall the clocks are moved backward and we gain an hour of sleep. During the spring they are moved forward and we lose an hour – or as some would see it – the change is reversed. How does the time change affect your mental and physical health.?
Sleep is just one of the factors that can alter your metabolism. Too much of it can cause you to lose your appetite, and too little of it can increase your appetite tenfold and lead you to nibble on junk food all day. Your body has developed internal clocks from years of routine that tell you what time to eat, and altering them by an hour can make a big difference. So if you find yourself unusually hungry or not at all hungry, the time change may be the cause.
Disrupting sleep time increases the rate of stroke. Finish doctors from the university of Turku collected data from 3000 people hospitalized in the days following daylight savings time and their research concluded that the rate of an ischemic stroke, caused by a clot blocking blood flow to the brain, was 8% higher during the first two days after changing the clocks. The risk is increased to 20% for those with cancer, and those above 65.
Did you bump into the fridge this morning while making breakfast? Or reverse into your garbage bins while backing out of the driveway? The risk of accidents during the first few day of the time change increases immensely. Drivers should be especially careful because mental alertness is one of the most important skills used when operating machinery, especially a car.
Are you feeling less motivated at work today? Do you want to get more work done your body just isn’t taking direction? Research has shown that the lethargy you feel after the clocks change will linger into the work week. A sleepy employee will not only be slower, and less mentally aware, but will turn to social media to pass the time, making them more unproductive.
So the next time someone says to you its just an hour of sleep, what’s the big deal? You can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you aren’t the only one out there feeling out of sorts.