Adapting to Seasonal and Time Changes

Adapting to Seasonal and Time Changes

How to Adapt to Seasonal and Time Changes

Seasonal change in the Northwest brings in a new perspective with each season.  Adapting to seasonal and time changes is something we may or may not be conscious of going through.  Morning mist encloses the color changes in a surreal landscape overlaid with sparkling dewdrops. We linger outdoors a little longer relishing the golden autumn palette of changing leaves awash with the setting of the sun. As we enter the fall season, we shift gears from outdoor activities to inside interests.

Time Changes Affect Our Internal Clocks

Once we enter the fall season, it is time to set our clocks back. This ritual is based upon a fairly modern concept. Benjamin Franklin suggested a time change to increase productivity in daylight hours, but it was not enacted until 1966 when Congress passed the Uniform Time Act. The justification of daylight savings is based upon the supposition that it saves on energy bills. Whether or not this is true, it certainly has an effect on the systems in our body. Since then, unusual reactions have been identified that are linked to the time change that interrupts the natural body rhythms.  In essence it means adapting to seasonal and time changes.

Physical Symptoms Associated with Time Changes

The Circadian rhythms that help the body function by signaling a need for food and sleep also affect moods. These rhythms can be thrown off track when a person experiences seasonal and time changes,  particularly transitions in and out of daylight saving schedules.

  • Cluster headaches are commonly associated with the change in daylight saving time. Circadian rhythms release hormones to help regulate the body.  Sometimes abnormal releases of hormones cause cluster headaches, which are  headaches felt on one side of a person’s head.
  • Increases in workplace injuries occur as a result of lack of sleep caused in the time change adaption gap. This is particularly true for those who work at physically demanding jobs
  • More reports of heart attacks from lack of sleep during the time change.  This is because the body releases stress hormones that increase inflammation.  As a result, it can cause more severe complications in people already at risk of having a heart attack.
  • A moderate increase is seen in cyberloafing (browsing and lingering on the internet).  This happens as work production decreases when the circadian rhythm is interrupted. Production tends to return to normal as employees adapt to the time change.
  • Studies have shown an increase in traffic accidents due to the upset in the circadian rhythms in the brain that can diminish alertness and response time when driving.

Be Kind to Yourself With Time Changes

We need to pay attention to our body and the way it responds to change. Some experience more obvious effects and some notice very little effect.  Make allowances for yourself when the daylight savings time change occurs by adding in recovery breaks between appointments and invitations. Give yourself added time at work to evaluate and prioritize your to-do list.  Ease into an adjusted bedtime by relaxing with a good book, or quiet conversation and a warm cup of tea, cocoa, or milk.

Acupuncture can help with the symptoms

The body has an amazing ability to adapt and recalibrate under pressure and stress, but repeated and long-term stress can take its toll on the body.  Homeopathy and acupuncture therapy helps the body handle stress and change; nature’s own elements alleviate the stress of our fast-paced life. Contact one of our specialists to learn about acupuncture treatments or herbal supplements that can help you adjust to seasonal changes and the end of daylight savings.

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