April 24, 2014

Time change can impact the body and mind

Don’t forget to “fall back” Saturday night before going to bed. Standard Time starts Sunday and for some that can be linked to negative effects on the body and mind. Dr. Michael Rice is a professor at the University of Nebraska College of Nursing and says there are a few things you can do to adjust your internal clock.

Dr. Rice suggests starting your bedtime routine earlier can help. He also recommends not watching violent or action movies or TV shows prior to going to bed.

Time changes can also lead to other negative effects that include disturbed sleep patterns, seasonal depression and mood swings. It can also increase the risk of physical disorders including diabetes, stroke and breast cancer. Studies show that when you turn the clock ahead in the spring there is 10% increase in the risk of a heart attack but the opposite is true when you turn clocks back one hour.

Dr. Rice says time changes often bring on episodes of sleep deprivation and that can cause a higher risk of accidents because it is tied to our level of awareness and concentration. He says since we will lack sunlight now until spring one of the best things you can do is get about 30 minutes of bright sunlight early in morning. That is enough to help “refuel” the body for the day ahead.