How “Falling Back” From Daylight Savings Time Affects Our Health

As the leaves change colors and the air becomes cooler, we “fall back” and set our clocks one hour earlier. But did you know this seemingly simple shift can impact our health in a variety of ways? Read on to learn the impact of falling back and how vitamins such as D and B12 can come to our rescue.

Disrupted Sleep Patterns: Even though “falling back” theoretically allows for an extra hour of sleep, a sudden change in time, even by just an hour, can disrupt the body’s internal clock, or circadian rhythm. Some people may find it harder to fall asleep or wake up at the usual time.

Vitamin D Deficiency: Sunlight is a primary source of Vitamin D for many people. Reduced exposure can lead to a decrease in Vitamin D synthesis, which is essential for calcium absorption, immune function, and mood regulation.

Mood Disorders: Changes in the light-dark cycle can influence the body’s production of serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters related to mood and sleep, respectively. This can exacerbate symptoms in people with depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Impaired Cognitive Function: Just like how jet lag can affect brain function, so can changes to the time. This can result in difficulties with concentration, memory, and decision-making.

Increased Risk of Accidents: While “springing forward” is often associated with a spike in car accidents due to lost sleep, “falling back” isn’t without risks. The earlier onset of darkness can increase the likelihood of evening accidents.

Potential for Increased Cardiovascular Events: Some studies have shown a small uptick in heart attacks and strokes after both the spring and fall changes, likely due to disruptions in the body’s internal rhythms.

Gastrointestinal Issues: Some individuals may experience GI disturbances due to the misalignment of their body’s internal clock and meal times.

Potential Increase in Evening Fatigue: As darkness comes earlier, individuals might feel more tired in the early evening, which can disrupt normal activities or reduce the overall productive time in a day.

How Can Vitamins D and B12 Help?

Vitamin D: Considering the reduced sunlight exposure during the fall and winter months, it’s crucial to ensure an adequate intake of Vitamin D.

  • Bone Health: Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption, essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
  • Mood Regulation: Adequate Vitamin D levels can help in combating symptoms of SAD and boosting overall mood.
  • Immune Support: Especially during the colder months, Vitamin D can help support a robust immune response.

To maintain optimal levels, consider consuming foods rich in Vitamin D, like fatty fish, and fortified foods, or consider taking a supplement.

Vitamin B12: While not directly linked to DST, Vitamin B12 plays an essential role in energy production and can be especially beneficial during times when we feel fatigued or lethargic due to sleep disruptions.

  • Energy Production: B12 is crucial in the synthesis of red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. This aids in overall energy levels.
  • Nervous System Function: Adequate B12 levels support a healthy nervous system, improving mood and cognitive function.

Again, consider foods rich in B12, such as meat, dairy, or fortified plant-based products, or think about a supplement.

Schedule and appointment or walk in to get your Vitamin D and B12 shot so you can navigate this transition smoothly. If you’re noticing foggy thinking, Brain Boost + Vitamin D will help clear the haze, sharpen your mental clarity, and enhance focus, so you’ll feel ready to take on any challenge that comes your way.

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