How does Daylight Savings Affect Health?

Daylight saving time (DST) is in place to make the best use of daylight.

Some states and nations don’t adhere to it, but let’s face it, more sunshine is always better. With the benefit of more light, there is still a "dark side" and it can affect people’s health in negative ways. According to a study in the The American Journal of Cardiology, during the first week of DST (in March) there is a spike in heart attacks. Researchers suspect the link is because an hour less of sleep increases stress and provides less time to recover overnight. DST has been associated with later bedtimes, increased time in bed, and a later wake up time which can result in a slowdown in performance, concentration and memory.

This is just one of the many stressors in life that throw off our circadian rhythm and deplete adrenal glands of their cortisone. In turn, less cortisol is released into the blood. Cortisol is necessary to maintain metabolism and is secreted in larger quantities during times of stress in order to mobilize blood sugar, the energy sources needed for the response. When the adrenal glands are depleted, the thyroid gland will work harder to make up for the lack of energy. As chronic stress continues, the thyroid gland will eventually become depleted as well and lead to symptoms of hair loss, weight gain, and cold extremities.

To those affected by DST, especially during the first week, here are a few tips to recover quickly:

- Start a sleep routine

- Exercise daily

- Avoid alcohol and caffeine

- Use RidgeCrest Herbals Adrenal Fatigue Fighter and Thyroid Thrive

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