Health and Fitness

Daylight Savings Time

This year daylight saving times begins Sunday, March 13, 2022. Most people in the United States of America spring forward one hour at 2 AM, local time. I for one prefer having more daylight in the evening and wish we could just leave our clocks set an hour ahead. The morning lightness that we achieve when we go back to standard time is so fleeting anyway.

Supposedly, daylight savings time was created to conserve energy. When the sun sets later, it is presumed that people will stay out longer and spend more time outside. The pros of daylight savings time are that the longer daylight savings time promotes safety. It is good for the economy, and It promotes an active lifestyle. An alleged con is that it is bad for your health due to the disruption of your sleep. An obvious solution therefore would be to just leave our clocks set permanently at daylight savings time.

Next week is the start of national sleep awareness week. Much research has been done over the past two decades that clearly spells out the critical importance of sleep on our health. There are many things that we do in our modern lives that may disrupt our sleep. This may involve too much screen time, drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed or too much stress in our lives. All of these may cause us to wake up in the early morning hours and be unable to fall back asleep

Unfortunately, there are many detrimental short and long-term effects of sleep deprivation. Your body compensates for the lack of restorative sleep, by increasing adrenaline and cortisol. In as little as one week, this will increase the level of inflammation in your body. Long term sleep deprivation will increase your risk of multiple health conditions including chronic pain, heart disease, mood disorders and diabetes.

Interestingly, how we eat and exercise affects how we sleep, and how we sleep affects how we exercise and eat. They are intricately related. Simply put, people with lower quality diets are more likely to experience sleep disorders. Unhealthy diets and too much alcohol or caffeine will disrupt your sleep. To add insult to injury then, when tired the next day, your body will crave unhealthy simple carbohydrates. It is a vicious cycle.

An article titled “The effects of physical activity on sleep: a meta-analytic review” published in the journal of behavioral medicine in June 2015, came to the profound conclusion that both aerobic and anaerobic resistance exercises improve sleep, no matter when you do them. It’s no secret also that, in order to have high-quality workouts, you need you need to have had a good nights sleep the night before. They go hand-in-hand.

Sleep well! Stay well!

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