How is Your Body Responding to the Time Change?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
This past weekend most of us throughout the United States, with the exception of Hawaii and Arizona, had the pleasure of gaining that extra hour of sleep as we bid farewell to daylight savings time. In 2007 Congress shifted the beginning of daylight savings time from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March. They also extended the end to daylight savings time from the last Sunday in October to first Sunday in November. And while many of us have grown to appreciate the added hour for what it is worth, we do know that eventually we will be trading it in for one less hour of sleep or activity come March.

The time change is bittersweet for me in that I am able to go out earlier for my run--no longer having to wait until 8 pound the pavement. Because I do most of my runs solo, I do not like to run in the dark which required me to either do my runs mid morning or early evening. On the flip side, I despise sitting down to dinner at 6 pm with moonbeams peering in my kitchen window. And I don't know about you, but I also find myself wanting to hit the sack earlier than usual.

But there may be a health advantage to turning back our clocks. According to a Swedish study, published in the October 30th 2008 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine heart attack rates dropped on the Monday following the time change which may be attributed to the extra hour of sleep. However, this scenario changes when we spring forward as heart attack rates are shown to rise as much as 5% during the first three days after we transition back to daylight savings time.

One interesting fact I read in the study showed that when changing from standard time to daylight savings time, "the incidence of acute myocardial infarction was somewhat more pronounced in women than in men, and the autumn effect was more pronounced in men than in women." The study only reinforces the importance of keeping to a sleep routine, especially for women when making the transition from standard time to daylight savings time.

Do you have difficulty adjusting to the time change? How long does it take for you to adjust to the changes? Would you prefer keeping to a standard time throughout the year?

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The time change is un-necessary, useless, and simply out-dated. It wreaks havoc with my system and I despise it. Report
Nobody likes it but we continue to have it forced upon us each year. Report
We recently moved to Canada from South Africa, where daylight savings time is not implimented. The change was quite big for, we had difficulty falling asleep, waing up in the morning. Feel tired most of the time. It took me a month to adjust to the first two time changes, this time it only took me two weeks.

I think it is kinda silly, if it wasn;t supposed to be to save power I don't think we would have supported it at all. The children do not understand why they suddenly have to go to bed while the sun is still shining. But we're adapting a little bit more every time change. Report
I live in Beaver Dam Az. where there is no time change. But i work I Mesquite Nv. so i have to do their time. so it usually takes me two weeks to deal with the time change. i wish they would just leave it at one time or the other for everyone. Report
Yes my body also do respond Report
In Arizona, there is no time change. Lucky for us! We have lots of sunshine most of the year. Report
I do not like the time changes, and know it is not easy or good for my body. But there is little I can do about it. I think when we have the next time change I will plan my transition in advance. Report
I Think we should all be on the same time.
I definately have a hard time adjusting, since sleep
is a luxury I don't get much of. Just about the time you get used to it we fall back or spring forward again.
Make life as "simple" as we can.
OK, this is my diabolical plan: just split the difference and change the clocks by half an hour and then we'll never have to readjust them EVER AGAIN!! Not as crazy as it sounds once you stop and think about it!! Report
I found it easier this year to adjust. It has really helped me get up in the morning to go workout and I find I go to bed at a decent hour instead of staying up late staring at the TV. The one thing I do miss is my evening walks which I now take on my lunch hour. And, I hate that it is the sun is sets here (in Washington State) before 5pm. That is just dark and depressing to me. Report
I must say I'm actually doing good with the time change Report
I wish they would just leave the time alone. What difference does it make anyway? There is still 24 hours in day, changing the time doesn't impact that. Report
Just an FYI, but Daylight Savings is observed in many countries around the world, not just the US. Personally, I like it being light earlier, so I don't go to work in the dark, but I'm not a fan of it getting dark within an hour of gettting home. Report
My body had no problem with the time change. I wake up very early so it is nice that the sun is just starting to come up when I leave in the morning. Report
They have the time change so CHILDREN don't get on the school bus in the winter in the DARK and risk being hit by cars while waiting on the bus. That is the reason. So, I wouldn't want it changed. Report
I have a hard time adjusting every year, but it is what it is. Report
When the time change was first introduced I was told that it was because the politicians wanted to get a golf game in before they had to be at the office. Now everyone has to suffer for their enjoyment! I can't adjust to the time change in either season. In the evening as soon as I sit to watch television I get a 30 minute nap and then my night's sleep is ruined. Report
I wish they'd just leave it alone. I don't care about time. All I wanna do is sleep anyway. I better get to bed. LOL Report
I work until 6:30pm and its so hard to sit at work for two hours after the sun sets!! That really throws me off. However, its easier for me to wake up at 6:00am to workout if its pretty light outside already, so I'm getting a lot done early in the morning at least... Report
I don't care for the change much, but I do wish that Daylight Time were Standard Time. I really dislike sunset before 5pm. Report
I hate it and think it is not called for. wish they would just leave it alone. Report
I hate it and think it is not called for. wish they would just leave it alone. Report
No sir, I don't like it. It's okay in the fall since I like sleeping in, but it's always a major trauma in the spring, especially when I had to be at work at 5 am, it took me weeks to adjust and I was really kind of angry at having to get up earlier (Now I am unemployed, it's not quite as painful). I can also tell you many stories about how things got messed up by being late or early when I made plans on the day the time changed. I also don't like it so dark in the evening, it makes it seem so much later than it really is. I always want to go to bed at about 6. I wish we could just keep it at one time all the time, it would be better. Also my pets don't understand, and the dog thinks I am punishing him by not getting up, feeding and taking him out at his normal time. The whole thing is dumb. Report
Absolutely no difference.
Erin Report
I have more trouble getting used to Daylight Savings Time, because it is contrary to my natural body rhythm. I would prefer standard time all year. Report
I don't see any real advantage to turning the clocks back in November, only to turn them forward again in March.
I'd say that Hawaii and Arizona have the right idea. Report
I agre with a quote I heard at my church, only the American Government is stupid enough to believe that you can cut a foot of the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom to get a longer blanket. We are a 24hour a day world, nothing gets saved by changing clocks unless it it in our moods being crankier in the spring with the change. It doesn't matter to me if the sun comes up at 4am or 5 it still comes up. I live in Oregon. Report
We do not change times I am in Arizona. I am sure it will be hard to change sleep. Report
I do have difficulty adjusting to the time switch. Both of them. It takes about three weeks for my body to adjust to the new time. I would much prefer to keep the same time for the entire year. I love the fall back time (extra hour), but I don't like spring forward (lose the hour). And I also don't like that it stays light until almost 10:00 at night. It's great for the kids, but it's hard on those of us who have to go to bed early so we can wake up early to go to work. And, it's hard on my dog too - who can't understand why I am so mean as to make her wait an additional hour in the fall/winter. :-) Report
It hasn't really affected me except it is already almost dark when I leave work at 5pm. It has been nice here in Iowa still, and I have wanted to go for walks instead of being confined to my elliptical (I will get enough of that this winter), but it is dark, and I too do not want to go walking alone in the dark. Report
I love getting the extra hour in bed, but groan at the time when i lose an hour. Both have their advantages and disadvantages i suppose. It's nice to have the chance, i think! =) Report
I certainly like to fall back moreso than springing ahead.... I reallly struggled with getting up in the dark. I hate driving home in the dark or having dinner by moonbeams but I just Suck It Up..... on the positive side...the darkness earlier in the night encourages me and my family to hit the hay earlier and have a good night sleep .. important lifestyle strategy! Report
This time change was actually good for me as by Fiancee' gets up very early for work and I work 3 or more hours later than he does. It has made it easier for me to adjust to his sleep schedule of going to bed by 9 or 10 and getting up at 5:30 am with him to have breakfast. we ar getting married in december so it is nice to adjust our sleep schedule now. Report
I do better with this time change than I do the one in the Spring. I do find myself getting hungry earlier in the evening and I have to remind myself to wait for dinner. Report
I am actually sleeping earlier and waking up earlier. I feel pretty rejuvenated for the whole day, now that the clocks have gone one hour back. The few weeks before the time change - I would sleep longer than I need to, but now I am up as soon as the sun is up. Report
I am very tired and rather irriitable. evenings are really hard, I feel like it is much later than it is I don't think my body likes it. Report
It takes me almost a week to get a full night's sleep after we change. I wish they'd leave it alone! Report
I believe most people are bothered by Daylight Savings. Here in Brazil they just started. I'm feeling sleepy the whole week. Report
It's crazy. The biannual time changes should be repealed. The fall change is easier than the spring one, but both can have their rough points. My cats don't understand so I don't get an immediate benefit from falling back.

Moreover, living in Alaska, any so-called daylight savings effect, whether evening or morning, disappears in about 10 days so why bother? For the curious, our average daylight gain/loss is about 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 minutes a day vs. a week (or more) in the Lower 48. Report
The morning is not a problem because I always wake up early but I hate that it gets dark so early. It definitely effects my mood. I also HATE driving in the dark! I have class two nights a week, a far drive (45-50 minutes) I get so much anxiety:( Report
I get up at 5:30, usually without any help from the alarm clock. For weeks after this time change I wake up at 4:30. It really interferes with my sleep patterns. I usually go walking in the evening after dinner and before dishes. Now it is dark at this time and I am very limited to lit paths. I really have difficulty with this time change but the change in the spring is no problem for me - unfortunately the rest of my household reacts the opposite way. Report
I was awake at 4 this morning instead of the weekday 5 or my preferred weekend 6. May be I picked the wrong day to respond to this blog. Usually takes me only a week to adjust
so this is a little weird. Report
Really do not notice the difference Like the saying by an old Indian in AZ goes " If you cut a foot off the top of the blanket and sew it on to the bottom did the blanket get any longer" Report
I like the extra hour on Sunday, but it takes me about two weeks to adjust to the change and get my sleep and exercise patterns back on track. I wake up at 4 am instead of 5 and get tired earlier in the evening. Report
I am still trying to adjust. I have been overly tired this week. It usually takes me about a week to completely get back into the swing of things. Thank heavens the week is about up. Report
I just wish they'd leave it at DST because it is longer DAYLIGHT hours and not so dark and not so many people get down. It was supposed to stop after WW2. Report
I am totally exhausted since the time change. I hate losing the time at the end of the day to spend outdoors with my children too. :( It's 9:00 p.m. here on the East Coast and since it is has been dark over 3 hours, I feel so lazy!!! Report
I am loving the time change. :o) The next six months will be the only six months of the year that I wake up on time and exercise regularly. I've been doing this for three years now. I hate when the time changes back in the spring.... I cannot adjust to that it all and I will lose my entire routine. :o( Report
When I was younger the time changing didn't bother me at all. I could never understand why my parents complained so much. Now that I am older I can really tell a difference in how I feel for a while till I adjust. I enjoy the extra light in the evening and wish DST was year round.
i dont really have any problem adjusting to the time changes but i dont see any need for it' Report
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