It used to be that changing from Central Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time meant nothing to me. I would change my clocks and whatever time it was, was the time it was. I didn't suffer any of the insidious side effects everyone else would ascribe to the seasonal leap forward or backward in time.

And then about three years ago, something changed. The Spring leap forward became a monstrous pain in the backside. I could not seem to catch up on sleep. For days I felt sluggish, grouchy, overwhelmingly tired and not the least tolerant of any human being who crossed my path, no matter how understanding they may have been!

Why this happened and what caused the seismic shift, I don't know. I only know that I am ecstatic when Daylight Saving Time ends. I get my hour of sleep back and I feel grateful and a bit less crabby. A bit.

The good news is, I'm not alone in my dislike of arbitrary time-shifting. The peeps over at Cheat Sheet have rounded up the latest research  and have come up with 4 Ways Daylight Saving Time Affects Your Health.

  1. Cluster headaches - which may start a few days after the time change and can continue for 6 to 8 weeks! (Thankfully this isn't one of my issues!)
  2. Seasonal depression - if you are prone to SAD (seasonal affective disorder) the change back to Central Standard Time with impending less daylight, can trigger issues. (My battle with depression has little to do with SAD and more to do with genetics and my brain's problematic chemistry!)
  3. Coronary issues - losing sleep can lead to additional stress on your body and in turn can lead to heart problems. Research has actually indicated that heart attack numbers drop the Monday after the change from Daylight Saving Time to Central Standard Time and rise with the reverse change in the Spring.
  4. Normalcy returns - for people like me who hate the change to Daylight Saving Time, when it ends, we feel better. (Any day now, I'm going to revert into the little cheer bear everyone knows and loves. Has hell frozen over yet?)

Additionally, Today/Health suggests there are things you can do to minimize the effects of the switch to DST:

  • Try going to bed 20 minutes early tonight (Friday, March 9) and tomorrow night, (Saturday, March 10), supposedly this will make the clock jump easier on you.
  • Avoid exposure to bright light before you go to bed. That means no TV, no smartphone, no computer, because they emit a lot of "blue light" which can screw up your circadian rhythm (that's your sleep cycle, not bugs which show up every 7 years and sound like buzz saws).
  • Eat a banana or some peanut butter before bed, they both have tryptophan, an amino acid associated with healthy sleep.

I hope these tips help you. I plan to stay crabby and continue lobbying for perpetual Central Standard Time!

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