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Daylight Savings Time Health Impact: You Need To Know

Explore the profound health impacts of daylight savings time on mood and metabolism. Discover how disrupted sleep patterns affect overall well-being and how the Best Life health app can help monitor and adapt to these changes. Stay informed and prepared!
Explore the profound health impacts of daylight savings time on mood and metabolism. Discover how disrupted sleep patterns affect overall well-being and how the Best Life health app can help monitor and adapt to these changes. Stay informed and prepared!

What is Daylight Savings Time?

Daylight Savings Time (DST) is when we change our clocks twice a year. Some people think it’s helpful, but others don’t like it. DST has been a globally recognized practice for more than 100 years. It was initially put in place to use daylight better and conserve energy. Still, its implementation was met with both applause and criticism. 

This year, daylight savings time for the United States “springs forward” on Sunday, March 12, and “falls back” on Sunday, November 5.

Today, as we transition our clocks biannually, many take the hour shift in stride without giving it much thought. However, what often goes unnoticed is how this seemingly minor change can profoundly affect our health.

What often goes unnoticed is how this seemingly minor change can profoundly affect our health.

With health apps like Best Life, we can see these changes. This article discusses how DST can change our sleep, mood, and health. We’ll also learn how the Best Life app can help track these changes. Changing the time might seem small, but it can have significant effects. Let’s learn more about it!

Understanding the Body Clock

Our bodies have an internal clock called the circadian rhythm. This rhythm manages our daily activities, like sleeping, waking up, and eating. Your circadian rhythm typically syncs with the sun’s rise and set. So, this rhythm gets disrupted when Daylight Savings Time changes the clocks.

circadian rhythm for visualizing daylight savings time impact on health

Imagine a regular alarm clock suddenly going off an hour early. Your body isn’t ready to wake up. In the same way, our circadian rhythm gets thrown off by the hour change.

Research has linked this disruption to several health issues. Some people face sleep problems, while others may feel more down or depressed. There’s even evidence that the risk of heart attacks increases right after the shift.

Using a health app, such as Best Life, can help monitor these effects. You can see if and how DST impacts you by tracking sleep patterns, mood changes, and other health markers. If you notice changes, you can find ways to adjust and care for your health.

Immediate Health Impacts of Daylight Savings Time

When the clocks change for Daylight Savings Time, many of us immediately feel the difference. It’s not just changing the time on your watch or wall clock. Our bodies also sense the shift. Here’s how DST can affect our health immediately:

  • Sleep Disturbances: You might find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep after the change. This is because our body’s sleep schedule, set by our circadian rhythm, feels the time shift. So, even if the clock says bedtime, your body might not agree.
  • Mood Fluctuations: Feeling a bit down or grumpy after the time change? You’re not alone. The sudden shift can disturb our mood. For some, it can trigger or worsen seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons.
  • Heart and Stroke Risks: Surprisingly, the time change can be hard on our hearts. Studies have shown a slight increase in heart attacks and strokes right after DST starts. The reasons are complex but can relate to sleep loss and stress on our body’s systems.

By understanding these impacts, we can take steps to care for ourselves during the DST transition. You can track any sleep or mood changes using a health app. This helps you stay on top of your health and well-being.

Long-term Health Impacts of Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time doesn’t just affect us in the short term. Over time, repeatedly adjusting our internal clocks can have lingering effects on our health. Let’s dive into the long-term impacts of this bi-annual event:

  • Weight Gain and Metabolic Changes: Consistently losing an hour of sleep can mess with our body’s ability to process food. This can slow down our metabolism, making it easier to gain weight. Plus, when tired, we might eat more or choose less healthy foods.
  • Mental Health Concerns: DST isn’t just about losing sleep. It can also affect our mental well-being. People might feel more anxious or depressed, especially during the darker months. Constantly resetting our internal clocks can strain our mental health.
  • Chronic Fatigue: Feeling tired once in a while is normal. But with DST, that tiredness can become chronic. Over time, constantly feeling tired can harm our overall health, from weakening our immune system to reducing our ability to concentrate.

The good news? By being aware of these risks, we can take steps to mitigate them. Tracking your health metrics, sleep patterns, and mood can help you navigate the challenges of DST more effectively. Stay informed and proactive to keep DST’s long-term impacts at bay.

Weather and Environmental Data: An Overlooked Factor

When we think about Daylight Savings Time, we often focus on the hour we gain or lose. But another crucial factor is the changing weather and environment during DST transitions.

  • The Role of Changing Weather Patterns: As we spring forward or fall back, the weather is also transitioning between seasons. Days might become warmer or cooler, and we can see shifts in humidity and light exposure. These changes in weather patterns can subtly influence our moods, energy levels, and overall well-being.
  • Compounding DST’s Health Effects: Imagine you’re already feeling the fatigue from DST. Now, add a sudden temperature drop or a string of gloomy, rainy days. These environmental shifts can amplify the tiredness or mood swings you might feel from the time change. For example, less sunlight can lead to reduced serotonin, a mood-regulating hormone, making us feel down or sluggish.

It’s essential to be aware of the broader environmental context during DST. By monitoring weather and environmental data in tools like the Best Life app, you can better understand how these factors might affect your health. By staying informed and proactive, you can create strategies to combat the combined impacts of DST and changing environmental conditions.

Tips for Transitioning Smoothly into DST

Daylight Savings Time doesn’t have to be a health hurdle if you’re prepared.

  • Gradual Sleep Adjustments: Don’t wait until the day before. Adjust your sleep by 10-15 minutes a few days before DST. This way, your body can adapt more naturally.
  • Stay Active and Seek Sunlight: Sunlight helps regulate our body clock. Even a brief walk during lunch can make a difference, ensuring you get some sunlight and remain active.
  • Dietary Considerations: Limit caffeine and sugar intake, especially in the evenings. Opt for foods rich in tryptophan, like turkey or bananas, which can promote sleep.

How the Best Life App Can Help You During DST

Adapting to Daylight Savings Time can be challenging, but the Best Life app is here to help.

  • Tracking Sleep Patterns: With Best Life, you can easily log your sleep hours and quality. Spot any disruptions or changes in your sleep pattern as DST approaches or takes effect.
  • Monitoring Mood: It’s not just about physical health; DST can impact mental well-being, too. Use the app to track your daily mood, noting any shifts or patterns that emerge during DST transitions.
  • Holistic Insights with Weather and Environmental Data: One of Best Life’s standout features is its ability to integrate weather and environmental data. This can give you a comprehensive view of how external factors, combined with DST, might be affecting your health.
  • Setting Timely Reminders: Whether it’s medication, therapy, or just a nudge to take a short walk, Best Life’s reminder feature ensures you stay on top of things, especially during those tricky DST periods.

Wrap It Up

Daylight Savings Time clearly impacts our health, both immediate and long-term. However, we can navigate these changes effectively with the right tools and awareness. Consistent health tracking is a step in the right direction.

Ready to take control of this Daylight Savings Time? Download the Best Life app now and stay proactive about your health during these seasonal transitions. Your well-being is worth it!


It’s essential to back up our claims with reliable sources. Here are the references for the information provided:

  1. Sleep Foundation: Daylight Saving Time
  2. John Hopkins: 7 Things to Know About Daylight Saving Time
  3. Northwestern Medicine: Daylight Saving and Your Health
  4. Harvard Health Publishing: The Dark Side of Daylight Saving Time

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The Live Learn Innovate Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit entity that empowers software users to regain control of their personally generated health data, gain intuitive insights about their social data, learn the impact of their environment on health, and build a foundation of data analytics that empowers research, academics, and innovation in economic development.

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