If you live in the United States, chances are you’ve been affected by Daylight Saving Time. In the fall, we set our clocks back an hour, and in the spring, we set them forward. This can be a bit confusing, especially since not everyone observes Daylight Saving Time. So what’s the deal, and how does it affect our health and immune system? Let’s take a closer look at this time-honored tradition (or lack thereof).
What is Daylight Saving Time?
The idea behind it is that we can make better use of daylight if we shift an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. This can be beneficial for things like farming and recreation.
Not everyone observes Daylight Saving Time, however. Arizona and Hawaii do not observe DST, and there are some exceptions even in states that do observe it. For example, Native American reservations may choose to opt out of DST.
In 2022, the US government passed a law to phase out the time change. However, this won’t happen until 2023 at the earliest, and the specific details are still being discussed by the government on both the state and federal levels.
When Did DST Start?
DST was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 as a way to conserve candles! It wasn’t until 1916 that Germany became the first country to adopt DST as a way to conserve fuel during World War I.
Is DST Bad For Your Health?
Some researchers believe that DST is bad for your health because it disrupts your natural sleep cycle. This can have far-ranging impacts. For example, one study found that there is a spike in car accidents and heart attacks in the days following a time change.
Scientists argue that it can also harm every system in your body, down to your immune system, because of its impacts on your cellular health. “Every cell in our bodies keeps track of the time, and changes in daily patterns can trigger stress in our brains and cause sleep deprivation, disorientation, and memory loss,” warns the UT Southwestern Medical Center. “It can also lead to difficulties with learning, social interactions, and overall cognitive function.”
How to Stay Healthy During and After a Time Change
For many people, the time change can be tough to adjust to. Whether it’s losing an hour of sleep or feeling like the day is shorter, the time change can take a toll on our health. Here are three ways to manage the time change and daylight savings time.
1. Get enough sleep: This one is key. Make sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night leading up to the time change. Once the time change hits, ease into your new schedule by going to bed and waking up 15 minutes earlier each day until you’ve adjusted to the new time.
2. Eat healthy: Eating healthy foods helps our bodies adjust to changes more quickly. Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet leading up to the time change. On the day of, make sure to have a hearty breakfast that will give you energy for the day ahead.
3. Get outside: Spend some time each day getting some fresh air and vitamin D. Exercise is also a great way to manage stress and anxiety. Just 30 minutes of walking each day can help improve your mood and help you transition into the new time change.
4. Take immune supplements: Because your immune system may be struggling immediately after a time change, support it with research-backed immune supplements. These include vitamin C, zinc, and BioPro-Plus 500.
BioPro-Plus 500 is a unique dietary supplement which is clinically proven to increase CD4 cell counts. CD4 cells (T-cells) are white blood cells which play a major role in your body’s own natural immune system response. Without adequate CD4 cells, any viruses, bacteria, or preexisting diseases may run rampant in your body and you are even more vulnerable to new infections.
DST can be confusing, but it’s worth taking the time to understand it. After all, it impacts all of us in one way or another! Whether you observe DST or not, we can all take proactive measures to ensure optimal health and wellness during the shift from fall into winter.