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

Circadian Rhythms

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!

Appetite Increase

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.

Healthy Skin

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!!)

Immune System

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.

 

Breakfast

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!

IMG_5611

So good!!

Time to take Niko on a walk. Looks like I’m going to have to bundle up…it’s blustery out there!!

Happy Thursday Open-mouthed smile

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!

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Comments

  1. I never gave much thought to the effects of time change until I moved to England. It seems so much more extreme here than it was in Florida. I can’t handle it getting dark outside around 3:30pm, it’s just too early! I wouldn’t go so far to say that I have SAD, but I am feeling very off :/ hope our bodies adjusts soon!

  2. I am way more hungry right now than in the summer months! I was thinking my body was trying to put on more fat to keep warm this winter ;) haha. I am still not used to the time change, was up at 5am today! Yuck!

    • I typically gain a few pounds over the winter. But I think that has more to do with holiday parties than day light savings ;)

  3. I definitely have a winter “mood” that comes out every once in a while. I blame lack of the sun. Because living in darkness is just no fun. :(

  4. I totally agree with fall back being so much better. Got to sleep in extra on a sunday morning = bonus!

    It gets wayyyyy too dark out by 5 pm where I live (Ottawa, ON, Canada) and it can be so depressing. Not to mention hard to tell which bus stop to get off at!!

  5. My mood totally changes with the weather! I don’t mind the shorter days, but right before the time changed, I had a very hard time getting out of bed and my tired cranky mood was usually carried with me throughout my entire day. I feel much better waking up with the sun now!

  6. I’ve felt so much more rested since “falling back.” This weather definitely changes my mood, but having it lighter earlier in the day makes me happy!

  7. I totally agree with the eating more in the winter thing (so opposite of what this study said). I’m like a hungry bear in the winter.

  8. Yah, the time change is messing with me too. Its really hard to keep my mood up when its always dark out. The only daylight hours I get to see are through a window at my desk.

  9. I’m so hungry in the winter! It’s ridiculous. I feel like I’m always eating! And I hate that daylight is so scarce! On a brighter note, I love Yahoo!’s Shine articles! I get sucked in to them all the time. :)

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