Whole Person Health Care - NIWH
The work of Dr. Georgianna Donadio DC, MSc, PhD has touched the lives of millions of people worldwide. For more than 35 years, she has been educating the healthcare community, as well as her patients, students and the public…
Circadian Rhythm and Seaonal Change: Is Daylight Savings a Detriment to our Health?
Posted in Insomnia by Dr. Georgianna Donadio on Oct 27, 2011
It is time once again for the country to switch from daylight savings time to standard savings time, which is scheduled to occur Sunday, November 6, 2011. In the autumn we “fall back” one hour by moving our clocks back at 2:00 am. This means our bodies will have to adjust to the sleep schedule/time shift that occurs during this yearly, seasonal change.

We all have an “internal clock” or circadian rhythm that coordinates our feeling sleepy or awake with the natural daytime and nighttime cycles. This internal clock will have to adjust itself to accommodate daylight availability. The science of chronobiology is the study of how these circadian rhythms affect an individual’s health.

Researchers have looked at the relationship of circadian rhythms and individual health outcomes. Studies have shown that the these bi-annual time changes not only disturb our sleep patterns but can also cause health-related problems which include difficulty sleeping or insomnia, loss of focus or alertness, as well as depression and anxiety. The studies have also shown an increase in the incidents of heart attacks during these periods of seasonal daylight adaptation.

Researchers like Michael Terman, PhD, professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University, director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, has identified that with sleep disruption; increased activity of the nervous system may speed up the heart rate, and also increase immune cells named cytokines that enhance inflammation and artery damage.

Being healthy, well nourished, and fit are ways to minimize the effects of changes to our circadian rhythms, but there are other tips you may wish to follow as well. The Center for Environmental Therapeutics has information that will assist with these time-shift transitions. Under the link "Therapeutic Resources & Tools," you will find a link to "Your Circadian Rhythm Type." If you wish to receive detailed feedback on how to best adapt to the time shifts, simply fill out the provided questionnaire to experience a smooth transition into the winter season!

- Dr. Georgianna Donadio

       Send to a Friend     Share This

TAGS: Symptoms

TOTAL COMMENTS: 1 - View All Comments »

Add a Comment
Displaying comments 1-1 of 1
Thanks for discussing above topic.best reagrds!!
By johnlasseter  Mar 13, 2012
Got a Question?
My Fans
Changing Behavior
Changing Behavior
Dr. Georgianna Donadio
(30,402 Discussion Topics)
Anxiety Disorders in Children
(310 Discussion Topics)
(128,778 Discussion Topics)
Depression - Teen
(6,483 Discussion Topics)
Depression in Children
(79 Discussion Topics)
Depression Supporters
(1,378 Discussion Topics)
Healthy Eating
(963 Discussion Topics)
Healthy Relationships
(9,775 Discussion Topics)
Heart Attack
(952 Discussion Topics)
(3,063 Discussion Topics)
Senior Health & Aging
(302 Discussion Topics)
Sleep Apnea
(1,221 Discussion Topics)
Sleep Problems - Childhood
(42 Discussion Topics)
Teen Anxiety
(538 Discussion Topics)