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  • Writer's pictureJulie Fratantoni

Spring Ahead: Use sunlight to help your brain adjust to DST

Why is the week after spring daylight savings time (DST) so rough?

Research has shown the day following spring DST fatal car accidents increase by 6%. Productivity also goes down at work - less sleep is associated with decreased attention and alertness.

Why? Because - circadian rhythms.

Your brain, specifically the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) regulates your body clock that helps you know when to be awake and when to go to sleep. This internal clock takes its cues from the sun and likes to keep in step with 24 hour cycles (aka your circadian rhythm). DST is a manmade construct that disrupts this cycle making it difficult for your brain and body to adjust.

So what can you do?

Get 15 minutes of early morning sunlight.

This is a great practice for your brain every day, not just during DST to regulate your circadian rhythm. Your brain is solar powered in a sense!

Pro tip:

Direct sunlight is best. Try to go outside rather than getting sun through a window or windshield. No sunglasses. And of course never look directly into the sun!

The sun gives a cue to your SCN and will help you wake up earlier the next day and gradually adjust to the time change.

Try it and let me know if it helps.

Is sunlight already part of your morning routine? Message me, I want to know!

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