How are you faring with the end of Daylight Savings Time for the year? A few days have passed since we all turned our clocks back one hour, and some may have adjusted more easily than others. Early sunrises and darker skies in the late afternoon aside, it’s common in this initial period to experience changes in attitude and health…not necessarily for the better.
“Gaining” an extra hour under the covers sounds wonderful, but disruptions in your sleep habits could determine the course of your days. Multiple studies on the effects of time change suggest a number of health problems:
- Moving clocks ahead for DST may increase one’s risk of heart ailments, including heart attack and stroke (source)
- Less light in the evening during fall and winter months presents the risk of negative mood swings and depression
- Inability to adjust sleep habits after time change may lead to a decline in alertness during the day. Accidents at work and on the road tend to happen more during these initial clock change periods.
What about joint pain? If you live with arthritis or a similar condition, the time change may play some role in your pain management. Cold weather may factor into stiff knees and aching fingers and hands, and DST ending can supplement the environmental changes that impact how you take care of yourself. Adjustments to your daily routine may ease the transition to a new time schedule:
- Exercise is beneficial to joint pain management, and a short walk in the mornings not only helps you adjust to the time change but the movement keeps your arm and leg joints active and flexible.
- If you find it difficult to sleep after moving your clocks, adjust when you go to bed and wake until you find your balance.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking water is one way to naturally lift your energy levels without relying on an extra cup of coffee or soda.
For more questions on joint pain management and treatments, the experts at Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists are here to help. We offer care for patients experiencing joint pain due to injury, illness, or other factors. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Source: CBS News, Iowa Clinic