LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Over the weekend, millions of people set their clocks back an hour for daylight saving time. While many love that extra hour of sleep, health professionals say the time change could impact you negatively.
“Transitioning out of daylight saving time we are allotted an extra hour of sleep, therefore we sleep in and we actually losing daylight with this new transition so people are feeling the effects both psychically and mentally.” Edward Myers, a Family Nurse Practitioner with Ochsner CHRISTUS Health Center in Moss Bluff, said.
Daylight saving time affects more than you think, according to Myers. With that extra hour of sleep comes extra problems, like potentially throwing off your circadian rhythm, the natural process that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Myers says transitioning out of daylight saving time affects certain groups of people more.
“It tends to affect women more, those with a history of depression, seasonal affective disorder, which typically happens around this time of year, especially the first three weeks after the transition of time,” Myers said.
There are a few ways you can counteract this, like not sleeping in for example.
“Schedule their activities that they would normally do in the evening throughout the day," Myers said. "Maybe doing something in the morning that is beneficial to the body like walking. Scheduling chores and around the house, if they’re them all at once, they can do them throughout the day that way they are exposed to light a little longer. Exposing yourself to more sunlight, avoiding blue light before going to bed.”
Myers says if you do experience signs of depression, anxiety, or seasonal affective disorder to talk to your doctor.