The end of daylight saving time is approaching, with the clocks set to return to standard time on Sunday, November 5th in many countries. This transition can be a bit of a hassle, especially for those dealing with multiple time zones. Japan doesn’t observe daylight saving time, so while our clocks remain consistent, the U.S. and other countries change theirs, creating not only confusion but also numerous inconveniences.
But have you ever stopped to consider how daylight saving time might impact your circadian and circannual rhythms?
Circannual rhythms, essentially the yearly version of circadian rhythms, can indeed be influenced.
According to AI, here’s the lowdown:
Daylight saving time (DST) can throw a wrench into circannual rhythms. This happens because DST disrupts the natural light-dark cycle of our bodies, potentially leading to several health issues, including sleep disturbances, mood swings, and cardiovascular problems.
For example, when DST begins in the spring, we lose an hour of sleep. This can disrupt our circadian rhythm, making it challenging to fall asleep and wake up at consistent times. Sleep deprivation can result, leading to fatigue, concentration difficulties, and irritability.
Furthermore, DST can negatively affect mood. Research suggests people are more likely to experience depression and anxiety during the spring and fall, coinciding with DST transitions. This is likely due to circadian rhythm disruptions interfering with mood-regulating hormone production.
On top of that, DST can elevate the risk of cardiovascular issues. Studies show an increased likelihood of heart attacks and strokes in the days following DST transitions. The circadian rhythm disturbances can elevate stress and inflammation, both of which are cardiovascular disease risk factors.
In summary, daylight saving time can throw a wrench into our circannual rhythms and overall health. It’s crucial to understand these potential risks and take steps to safeguard your well-being, such as ensuring adequate sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, and regular exercise.
To minimize the adverse effects of DST, here are some tips:
Try to adhere to a regular sleep schedule, even during weekends and time changes, to maintain your circadian rhythm.
Get exposure to bright light during the day, especially in the morning, to suppress melatonin production and enhance alertness.
Avoid exposure to bright light in the evening, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime, to promote melatonin production and make it easier to fall asleep.
Establish a calming bedtime routine, such as a warm bath, reading, or soothing music.
Avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, as they can disrupt sleep.
Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool, creating an ideal sleep environment.
These are the protocols discussed in my video “Circadian Rhythms vs. Circannual Rhythms for Health and Longevity,” and they can be particularly helpful during this transition period. Adhering to a healthy diet and regular exercise supports alignment with your circadian rhythms. Living locally and seasonally can aid in syncing with your circannual rhythms, thus facilitating a smoother transition.
Throughout the year and especially during this change, it’s important to practice these protocols for the sake of your overall well-being.
I’ve also provided some specific ways to spend this weekend in my latest video, so I encourage you to give it a watch: