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Ask Dr. Nandi: Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday: What to know about 'falling back'

Posted at 5:24 PM, Nov 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-02 17:25:05-04

I’m sure many of you are looking forward to sleeping in an extra hour this Sunday when Daylight Saving Time ends.  But can this seemingly small one-hour change affect our health? 

I know many people are really looking forward to getting extra sleep this Sunday. But in reality, only a few people actually do.  

Because of our body’s circadian rhythm, our sleep/wake cycle will take about a week or so to adjust to the new time change.  

This shift can actually cause worse sleep, insomnia, and trouble falling asleep while the body adjusts. So you can feel irritable, tired, moody and groggy during the day if you don’t get a good night’s sleep.

A 2017 study found assault rates are higher on the Monday right after Daylight Saving Time ends.  And there are also more traffic accidents on that Monday according to another study.  Some of those can include vehicles hitting students who are now out in the darker early morning fall hours heading to bus stops and schools.  

So we really need to be alert, aware and more careful come Monday.

I think you need to be patient while your body adjusts. You may still wake up earlier than planned but use the time wisely, preferably to improve your health.  

I suggest a morning workout, which can help get your sleep cycle back on track.  

Our evenings will be getting darker earlier, so get some fresh air and sunlight during the day which can help boost your mood.  

And at bedtime, it may be harder for you to fall asleep. So try winding down with a warm bath, or reading a book, or having some quiet time.  

Just be sure to stay off your digital devices as the blue light can keep you awake longer.

This week on the Dr. Nandi show I’m discussing cancer and alternative ways to treat it.  

While we certainly have come a long way in the medical field, there are experts who believe in more than one method of cancer treatment.  

Special guest Chris Wark shares how he skipped chemotherapy and changed his lifestyle that saved his life.  

So tune in this Sunday at 1 pm to watch “Does Cancer Have to Be Treated Just One Way?”.