Circadian Rhythm Interrupted

It’s that time of year again when we turn our clocks back one hour. Most people are happy to get an “extra hour” of sleep that night. Unfortunately, daylight saving time may affect your body in several ways. The body’s internal clock is a warehouse of neurons. These neurons are housed deep inside the brain fueling the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is the mental, physical, and behavioral changes that the body follows in a 24 hour cycle. The 24 hour cycle responds primarily to light and darkness in our environment. When the body’s circadian rhythm is interrupted, the effects may include: fatigue, agitation, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression that occurs in about a half a million Americans during daylight saving time. At the BCWHI, we want you to feel your best at all times. The following tips may help with “falling back.” • Get a good night sleep. Make your sleeping environment a relaxing, dark room. • If you have trouble falling asleep, ask your doctor if it’s okay to take a natural, supplement, such as a low dose Melatonin. • Rather than sleeping in, wake up at your normal time. Sleeping in may cause you to feel more fatigued during the day. • Eat a nutritional healthy diet. Foods containing high amounts of sugar, fat, salt, and caffeine may interrupt sleep. • Incorporate exercise in your daily routine. Exercise helps to jump start the body and produces euphoric effects on the body. • Your body will eventually adjust to the time change. If it does not, call your primary care physician.