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Time Change Can Throw Off Body Clocks

Posted at 11:27 AM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 12:27:02-04

If you're feeling a little groggy this morning, you're not alone.

That first week after we spring forward by resetting our clocks for daylight saving time can really wreak havoc with our sleep.

You might also have a little more trouble than usual getting the kids up and off to school today.

That's because the time change can throw off our body clocks, and for some, it can have more serious health consequences.

Spring forward, fall back, if the twice yearly hurdle of adjusting your body and clocks to daylight saving time, and back, fills you with dread, you're not alone.

But it's more than just mental, science shows it takes a physical toll.

"Heart attacks occur at a higher rate during that Monday morning and also throughout that week blood pressure goes up. There are also safety consequences such as car accidents, especially deadly car accidents occur at a higher rate," says Phyllis Zee with Northwestern University.

And there are less serious but still noticeable consequences like fatigue and just generally feeling out of whack.

So what do we do?

Try eating dinner an hour earlier and going to bed early too, making sure to dim lights including screens.

And get a good dose of bright light in the morning.

Zee says, "The same tips apply to children and I think particularly to teenagers whose biological clock is already delayed and so they are a population that would even suffer more from this moving this time forward in the spring."

Multiple states have legislation in various stages to ditch the switch.

But for now, only Arizona and Hawaii don't participate, meaning the rest are left turning the clocks ahead.

U.S. Territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands, also don't observe daylight saving time.

Thanks, in part, to ample sunshine year round.

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