Daylight Saving Time could impact your health!

The “fall back” portion of Daylight Saving Time adds an extra hour to one magical day per year. This year, it happens to be on Halloween night when the clocks turn back at 2am on November 1st. How could this scenario get even better, considering we’re adding an extra hour to Halloween!? Well, what if you could improve your health, too? Good news- You can! Use that extra hour to get good rest instead of partying with the ghouls and goblins! Here are just a few of the many reasons why sleep should be on your list of priorities:
  • Sleep promotes healing. While you sleep, your brain triggers the release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). This hormone is responsible for growth in children, and is also responsible for tissue repair and restoration. The release of this hormone can help you heal from minor injuries such as cuts and bruises and can also help you recover from things like inflammation, muscle soreness, and injured areas that may be contributing to pain.
  • Adequate sleep increases your learning capabilities and memory. If you’ve ever had a sleepless night, you can probably remember the fatigue that accompanied that lack of rest. With sleep deprivation, your nervous system can start to feel tired and over-worked, causing an inability to recall previously learned information. This is a major reason why everyone always suggests a good night’s rest before a big meeting, sporting event, etc.! Sleep is also important after a day of learning. The resting period allows your brain to process and retain new information that has just been learned.
  • Getting good rest can help you control your weight. The reason is really two fold- If you are tired, you are less likely to be and stay active. Also, healthy sleep is consistent with the release of healthy levels of the hormone Leptin. Leptin controls the feeling of hunger; when you miss out on sleep, your levels of Leptin decrease, causing you to be hungry. And since most people satisfy the feeling of hunger, this can lead to unnecessary weight gain.
  • A restful night can sharpen your attention span. When adults don’t get healthy rest, we feel tired which can lead to decreased productivity at work and at home. When children don’t get enough sleep, they get hyperactive which can lead to trouble at school. This is why sleep is so important for adults and children!
  • Sleep can promote emotional stability. A healthy night of sleep can help you feel refreshed and increase your mood, allowing your body and mind to manage stressful situations more appropriately. This will decrease the likely hood of random bursts of emotion- bursting into tears, snapping at a friend, or even uncontrollable laughing.
So how much sleep should you get? It is recommended that the average adult get between 7-8 hours of rest each night and school-aged children around 9-11 hours. Infants and toddlers are recommended to have 9-10 hours of sleep each evening, supplemented with an additional 2+ hours of napping throughout the day. This is just a general guideline and can change with various factors. With decreased sleep quality and previous episodes of sleep deprivation, these numbers may increase. We encourage you to perform a mini experiment to determine the perfect amount of sleep for you body’s needs. With all the amazing health benefits that sleep provides, it is worth the effort to not only find how many hours you do best with, but also make it a priority to get good rest every night!