Which is Healthier: Falling Back or Springing Ahead?
It seems ever since the time change last Sunday, almost everyone is having trouble adjusting – myself included. I woke up at 5:30 again today – when I didn’t even have to wake up until 7:00!
It’s obvious that Daylight Savings Time throws off our sense of time a bit, but what else does it throw off? This article I read on yahoo shine says that falling back and springing forward can wreak havoc on these health-related issues!
Day Light Savings Time: Spring vs. Winter Health Effects
The article says that for this health issue, falling back actually helps! During the fall and winter months – and time changes – our bodies naturally sync up more with the sunlight. Thusly, we sleep more soundly during the night and are more alert in the morning during the fall and winter months. There’s even been a study that says there’s an increase in car crashes the week after DLS time in the spring!
The extra light in the spring and summer months can apparently trigger over eating. Since the sun’s shining longer during waking hours, we tend eat more, while in the fall and winter months, our bodies are preparing to rest since it’s darker earlier. I think this is actually opposite for me! When it’s hot out, I crave lighter foods, like salads.
While falling back wins for our circadian rhythms and appetites, springing ahead is best for healthier skin. Due to the extra sunlight in the spring and summer, our skin soaks up more vitamin D. For 9-5ers, sometimes it’s dark on the way to work and then dark on the way home too! (This reminds me – I need to post my skin care routine still!!)
Springing ahead also wins for better immune systems due to the same reason – extra sunlight. But natural light isn’t the only factor here. A study by the National Cancer Institute has proven that excessive amounts of artificial light can actually lower the body’s resistance to breast cancer.
The article also talks about workout safety, which is worse in the fall and winter as well as mood, which is worse in the winter too, as people tend to get SAD when the days get shorter.
I was really having a hard time deciding what I wanted to do workout-wise this morning! Originally I decided I was going to a PM spin class tonight, then I changed it to a PM run at my gym, and at the last minute I finally decided on an AM run instead. I’m usually not this indecisive!
Before my workout, I had 1 serving of a BCAA drink, and afterwards, I had another bowl of paleo cereal. Looks like I’m on another kick!
Time to take Niko on a walk. Looks like I’m going to have to bundle up…it’s blustery out there!!
Do any of the health effects in the Yahoo Shine article pertain to you? They’re all pretty much spot on for me except for the workout safety one. I try to be as safe as I can if working out in the dark/cold. But I definitely sleep better and more in the winter and am generally a happier person in the spring and summer!