With the time change this past weekend you might be finding yourself a little more tired and sluggish than usual – especially in the morning with the promise of snow outside!

Our internal clock, or Circadian Rhythm, is a tightly regulated system of hormones in our body that controls how our body feels over time. When we change the time in our external environment it takes a little bit of time for our body to adjust and re-set its internal clock to match. During this time of adjustment our body still thinks it should feel awake and sleepy at the time it was used to, in this case 1 hour behind what it is now.

Here are my top two recommendations for helping this process along a little more smoothly.

  1. Turn on your lights and open the drapes/blinds as soon as you wake up in the morning. Our internal clock is synched to the external environment by light rays hitting sensors on the back of our eyes. Exposing our eyes to bright light from the windows or even just our overhead lights in the house helps to tell our body that this new time is when it should feel awake.
  2. Melatonin is the hormone that our Circadian Rhythm naturally releases at night and is the signal that our body uses to go to bed. Taking Melatonin feeds back into the rest of our Circadian Rhythm and can be used to help the body adjust to the “new” bedtime you have now with the time change. I recommend using a low dose, 1mg or less, each night 30 minutes before bed for one week following the time change to help push your body into the new time.

If you have any more questions about your Circadian Rhythm and how it may be affecting other areas of your health you can book in to see Dr. Kristen for a Complimentary Meet & Greet visit.

By: Dr. Kristen Harpell, Naturopathic Doctor

High Point Wellness Centre