It's that time of year again. This Sunday, Daylight Saving Time comes to an end and clocks will “fall back" once again. While you may think the “extra hour of sleep” would be good for us, the truth is these time changes, though only an hour difference, can affect our sleep schedules and sometimes our health and stress levels. Though turning the clocks back doesn’t seem to have as many health consequences as springing them forward, the end of Daylight Saving Time can still trigger lower energy, overeating, and Seasonal Affective Disorder.
A few tips for staying healthy this year as Daylight Saving Time ends.
1. Put Screens Away at Night
Whether it’s your iPad, smartphone, computer, or TV, screen time can disrupt melatonin production in your body and make a restful slumber harder to come by. Turns those off at least 30 minutes before bedtime and try reading in bed instead to get a good night's sleep.
2. Stick to Your Regular Sleep Schedule
With the sun going down earlier in the day, “fall back” for some can promote sleepiness earlier in the day, which then leads to waking up at odd hours of the night. To avoid interrupted sleep schedules, go to bed Saturday and wake up Sunday at your regular times.
3. Exercise Outdoors
Running, walking, whatever floats your boat…just get outside and be active. And do so in the morning, rather than the evening, as you’re more likely to follow through if the sun’s out. Getting outdoors not only exposes you to some sunlight to help your body adjust, moving your body triggers your brain to release endorphins, giving you a natural way to relieve stress and improve mood.
4. Fuel your body with HEALTHY plant-based meals
A diet high in saturated fats and processed foods can have a really negative affect on sleep patterns. Nutrient-dense plant-based meals have more fiber and less fat, giving our bodies the nutrients we need to feel more energetic, get better sleep, and help us fight depression.
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- While turning the clocks back isn't as hard on our bodies as spring forward, the end of Daylight Saving Time can still trigger lower energy, overeating, and Seasonal Affective Disorder.
- Don't let the end of Daylight Saving Time get you down! Avoid screentime at night, keep your regular sleep schedule, move your body (outside!), and eat whole food plant-based meals.
By Ali Brown
Ali is a nutrition and lifestyle writer and editor, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.