Clocks Fall Back an Hour, Less Daylight Can Lead to Possible Health Complications

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– Setting the clock back an hour means an extra hour of sleep, but less sunlight can have an impact on your health.

“When the sun goes down earlier, you’re going to be sleepy earlier,” says Dr. LeBean.

Doctor Bryan LeBean is a sleep specialist in Lafayette.

With daylight saving time coming to an end, the sun will be setting closer to 5pm and rising around 6am central time. Dr. Lebean says this impacts the circadian system in the brain which functions off of the light and darkness.

Dr. LeBean says since we ‘gain’ an hour of sleep for one night,it is not common for a whole sleep cycle to be thrown off. This is because our bodies can adjust within 2-3 days naturally.

Although less sunlight, especially during Winter, is known to cause seasonal depression.

Dr. LeBean says ways to adjust to less daylight is by keeping a consistent bedtime, and aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Waking up early to take advantage of natural sunlight and bringing more light sources into the home for the evenings can help too.

He says there are huge consequences for not getting enough sleep, “It can affect your memory, concentration, focus, it can make you irritable, which can also lead to anxiety and depression.”

Sleep deprivation can also lead to other health complications like weight gain and diabetes.

So the moral of the story is to make sure you get enough sleep and enjoy the extra hour of shut eye this weekend.

2 am Sunday, your smart phones will go back one hour automatically but do not forget to switch your other clocks manually.

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