Earlier studies I’ve done on the pineal gland and how light affects the hypothalamus made me start to wonder about how beneficial Daylight Saving Time really is to our bodies, especially since this was the weekend that we moved our clocks forward… and I’m feeling it!
First, I decided to see what I could learn from other homeschoolers:
- http://homeschoolblogger.com/boysrus/494941/ — Interesting trivia about DST
- http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/betcsu/229065/ — The proper spelling & pronunciation of DST (I didn’t know this one!)
- http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/c.html — Did you know this was all Benjamin Franklin’s idea? Also, an interesting discussion of whether DST helps conserve energy use.
Then I decided to delve a little deeper into the scientific end of things:
- http://www.jcircadianrhythms.com/content/4/1/1 — DST has a negative effect on the circadian rhythms of those who sleep less than 8 hours per night or who stay up late in the evening.
- http://www.slate.com/id/2177142/ — our morning wake times are tied to sunrise only in the winter. When DST arrives in the spring, our circadian rhythms are disrupted until fall’s time change, when they are magically back on track again.
- http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6793/8/3 — if you like the scientific explanation, this article is great. Its basic premise is that DST really does affect our moods and it has a greater affect on those of us who already have difficulty with our circadian rhythms.
Okay, this is depressing! Where’s my coffee?!
Is there anything we can do to help our bodies cope?
- Go to bed earlier! Try to go to bed when the sun goes down. (I have no idea how to do this in real life, especially when we have children and enjoy our hour or two of “adult time” in the evening — but it’s a goal. Maybe I should try for adult time first thing in the morning?)
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep at night. If I went to bed when the sun went down — say, at 9:30 at the peak of summer — I could get up at 5:30 and still get 8 hours of sleep. I could even “sleep in”! So God provides for us to get 8 hours of sleep on the shortest days of the year. I wonder what He intends for us to get in the middle of winter??? Maybe that cold air is hard on our bodies and we need more sleep? Interesting.
- Dr. Mercola has an interesting article: http://www.mercola.com/2001/oct/27/sleep_cancer.htm
That’s all I have for the moment. I would love to hear more ideas!