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Keep Daylight Savings From Harming Your Health

daylight savings time spring forwardWinter means shorter days and longer nights, but the perception (and, at times, the reality) of constant darkness is about to come to an end! Newberg dentist Dr. Jennifer McLeod and her team at Newberg Family Dental encourage you to take care of yourself as we set our clocks forward this weekend.

If you haven’t yet heard, Daylight Savings is this Sunday, March 10th. In the wee hours of the morning – at 2 a.m., to be exact – people in states across the United States will set their clocks ahead one hour.

What’s the Point of Daylight Savings Time?

Daylight Savings happens twice a year: in the fall, we “Fall Back” by setting our clocks back an hour while in the spring, we adjust our clocks forward an hour. This practice has been hundreds of years in the making.

First suggested by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, the concept behind moving our clocks back or forward is to conserve electricity and take advantage of longer hours of natural light. The idea lost traction nationally until the First World War when it was imposed across the country. Shortly after the war, Daylight Savings Time was repealed but then instituted again during World War II.

Adjusting to the Time Change

If you want to avoid Daylight Savings altogether, you’ll have to move to Hawaii, parts of Arizona, or U.S. territories including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

However, if you prefer to stay put, then it might be to your advantage to use these tips to help your body adjust to the time change!

1. Get Enough Sleep

It may be tempting to want to sleep in or stay up late, avoiding all thought of the time change and what the next few days will bring. Instead, plan out your day to tire yourself out so you can get to bed early and get enough sleep.

2. Adjust Your Diet

Although it’s never a good idea to eat a bunch of food right before bed, it’s especially important during Daylight Savings Time. Take this opportunity to load up on lean protein sources, fresh fruits and vegetables. Cut out foods and beverages that are high in sugar, especially before you go to bed. This will help you get the best sleep possible.

3. Take Advantage of the Extra Light

Setting our clocks an hour forward means that we’ll have some extra daylight to enjoy. Take advantage of the light and warmer spring weather to get outside. Grab some running shoes and hike, walk the dog, or go for a jog. This will help tire you out and get better rest during the time change!

Photo Credit: Post Haste via Compfight cc

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