Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina encourages members to practice preventive health care, but did you know that daylight savings can have adverse health affects, especially when it comes to sleep patterns? Daylight Savings ends on Sunday, November 6th at midnight and people all over North Carolina will be setting clocks back by one hour, moving an hour of daylight from evening to the morning. Although this may make getting out of bed this winter a little easier, daylight savings can affect us in ways that may surprise you. According to WebMD, “moving our clocks in either direction changes the principal time cue – light – for setting and resetting our 24-hour natural cycle or circadian rhythm.” This, in turn, knocks our internal clock “out of sync” and forces us to readjust.
Most experts agree that “falling back” in the autumn is an easier transition than “springing forward” in the spring, but either way, it forces a change in the body’s rhythm. In fact, researchers have looked at a number of health trends that seem to surround daylight savings, including an increase in traffic accidents. Although still unclear how adjusting the clock directly correlates with this increase, some experts argue that it’s based primarily on a change of sleep patterns. (more…)