Every year when Daylight Saving Time (DST) rolls around, we hear debates about whether the time change is worth the hassle. But what often goes overlooked are the serious health risks associated with DST. In particular, anemia and insomnia can be exacerbated by the time change, so it’s important to understand how to protect your health during this annual transition.
Let’s take a closer look at how DST affects anemic and insomniac individuals and what you can do to minimize the risks.
Effects of Daylight Saving Time on Sleeping Patterns
Daylight Saving Time is an event that happens twice a year when the clocks are either moved forward or backward an hour. While it may make for longer days of sunshine in the summer months, it can also have negative health effects such as insomnia, anemia, fatigue and confusion. When the time changes during Daylight Saving Time, our bodies respond differently, as they are trying to better adjust to the new schedule they must adhere to.
This can lead to health issues such as difficulty sleeping regularly at night or feeling more lethargic in our day-to-day lives. Health professionals suggest preparing yourself for Daylight Saving Time by developing healthy sleep patterns prior to the change, which also helps reduce health risks associated with changing your sleep patterns.
Impact of DST on Anemia
Anemia is a blood disorder that occurs when there is a lack of healthy red blood cells in the body. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue and dizziness, which can be made worse by DST due to changes in circadian rhythms and sleep patterns. To protect your health during DST, it’s important to get adequate rest before and after the time change. Make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night in order to give your body enough time to adjust and recover from any disruption caused by the time change. Additionally, if you suffer from anemia it’s important to talk with your doctor about possible treatments or medications that may help alleviate symptoms caused by DST.
Impact of DST on Insomnia
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. For individuals who suffer from insomnia, adjusting their sleep schedule for daylight saving time can be particularly challenging due to changes in circadian rhythms and melatonin production related to light exposure. To protect yourself against insomnia-related problems caused by daylight saving time, be sure to stick with your normal sleep routine as much as possible throughout the transition period.
Make sure to get a good amount of natural light during the day by going outside for a walk or jog, and limit artificial light at night such as from tablets, laptops, and TVs. If you find yourself struggling with disrupted sleep patterns, try adding more bright light exposure during waking hours or consulting with a doctor about potential treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Ways To Cope With DST and Get More Restful Sleep
The change in Daylight Saving Time can wreak havoc on health, mental health and sleep. To cope with the time change, health experts offer several simple tips to get more restful sleep, such as going to bed at the same time each night, spending time outdoors, napping in moderation, and avoiding caffeine and screens an hour before bedtime. Keep in mind that exercising regularly also helps trigger better sleep patterns, boost energy levels, and even lower stress.
If you are feeling especially tired from the time change setback, take extra caution when you're driving or engaging in risky activities. Finally, be sure to check in with your healthcare provider about any risks for insomnia or anemia related to changing your sleep schedule. By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure a better quality of sleep following every time change.
Food That Can Help with Sleep
According to Healthline, having any of these food and drinks can also help promote a better quality of sleep:
- Chamomile Tea
- Tart cherry juice
- Fatty Fish
- Passionflower tea
- White rice
Daylight Saving Time can be disruptive for everyone—but those suffering from anemic or insomniac conditions are especially at risk of experiencing worsened symptoms during this annual event. By being proactive about protecting your health before and after the transition period has passed, you can ensure that you remain healthy and well-rested throughout this annual tradition. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about how best to adapt your lifestyle for daylight saving time this year!
Make Sure to Get Your Zzz’s!
Feeling weak and exhausted? Anemia could be the cause! Keep your body healthy by tracking changes in hemoglobin levels with AnemoCheck. Get better sleep, counter insomnia, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle today!
AnemoCheck uses cutting-edge technology to measure your hemoglobin levels—and by extension, your healthy red blood cells—to give you a more clear picture of your overall health. It’s more than just anemia—hemoglobin is affected by multiple different factors, and measuring your levels can help you gain a deeper understanding of your body.
Harrison, Y. (2013). The impact of daylight saving time on sleep and related behaviours. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 17(4), 285–292. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2012.10.001
Burgess, H. J., & Eastman, C. I. (2006). A late wake time phase delays the human dim light melatonin rhythm. Neuroscience Letters, 395(3), 191–195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2005.10.082
Daylight saving time - how time change affects sleep. Sleep Foundation. (2023, February 16). Retrieved February 13, 2023, from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm/daylight-saving-time