Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.

Wellbody Expert: Prof. Michael Vitiello Shares "Spring Forward" Survival Tips

On Sunday, March 9, 2014,  we'll  “spring ahead” and return to daylight saving time. What's the best way to prepare for the year's worst Monday morning and recalibrate sleep cycles? 

wellbodysleepVitiello200

In the short essay below, sleep researcher Michael V. Vitiello, a University of Washington professor, shares advice and his perpsective on the time change. Prof. Vitiello serves as co-director of the Center for Research in the Management of Sleep Disturbance and editor-in-chief (for the Americas) of Sleep Medicine Reviews. He is a content specialist for Wellbody Academy

Originally proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, (although not adopted until World War I in an effort to save energy) daylight saving time is observed in most of North America and Europe. 

This means that the twice annual changing of clock time is again upon us and most of us will lose an hour of clock time as time “springs forward”, which means most of us will have one less hour of sleep when we awaken on Monday morning, March 10th.

This change will occur automatically for most computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones, but will not be biologically automatic for any human beings.Waking up on Monday morning may not be so easy as our biological rhythms continue to be what they were on Sunday and so being shorted an hour of sleep and awakening into a darker environment may be problematic for many.

Research has shown that the spring ahead is associated with significant increases in motor vehicle accidents and heart attacks, suggesting that our biology is exquisitely sensitive to shifts in the timing of our circadian rhythms versus the natural environment.

Those who may adversely experience the effects of springing ahead may want to try and get as much exposure to natural light as possible and increase their levels of exercise/activity as much as possible in the days following the return to daylight saving time as these factors are known to help re-synchronize the body’s biological clock with the external environment.

Here are more tips from Wellbody Blog on resetting your body clock, why sleep is so important for physical and emotional health and how much sleep is enough.

Also, a growing movement of sleep-disrupted activists thinks we should abolish daylight savings time. What do you think? Comment below or email professorwellbody@pacsci.org.

Experience the Slumbertorium at Professor's Wellbody's Academy of Health & Fitness to learn how to get your REM on!

Comments

  • Guest
    Earl Kempsay Thursday, 06 March 2014

    DST begins on Sunday at 2:00am, so Sunday is the first day our bodies experience the circadian confusion, not Monday. Kind of blows your whole "worst Monday" premise, dude.

  • Guest
    Jared Roach, MD, PhD Thursday, 06 March 2014

    Yes, end this archaic practice. Let individual businesses and organizations decide when they wish to open and close. They may change their opening and closing hours twice a year. Indeed, different businesses following different schedules is already the norm, and helps with traffic and peak energy use. But keep the 'everybody' clock constant.

Leave your comment

Guest Tuesday, 29 July 2014