This Sunday November 6th, marks 3 major annual events - the end of daylight savings, the close of early voting across many states, and the date 50,000 marathon runners are set to start a course through 26.2 miles of the 5 boroughs of New York City.
How to spend the extra hour of time we get after setting our clocks back and how do we adjust to the early onset of darkness? Many will use the time to hit snooze and get some much needed rest, while others may seize the opportunity to build a new AM routine.
The time change can impact our bodies’ internal clocks, also known as circadian rhythm. Light-dark exposure coupled with hormonal changes tell our bodies to set an ~24 hour cycle for numerous daily functions across systems - cardiovascular, metabolic, immune and most noticeably our sleep-wake cycle. We can help our bodies better adjust to Standard Time by making small changes that lessen the impact of Standard Time and protect our sleep, mood and health.
Make more time for movement - including low intensity walking.
Try to eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks at regular intervals to keep glucose levels and energy steady throughout the day. Sunset snacks are encouraged.
Focus on eating more whole fruits, leafy greens, complex carbs like sweet potatoes, whole grains like brown rice, oats, whole grain bread and heart-healthy fats found in avocado, olive oil, walnuts, and caviar!
Make the 15-20 min shifts in routine around sleep, meals, and exercise so that the body feels less out of whack when the external clock misaligns with our internal one…aside from missing the sunshine, that misalignment can be a mood dropper.
Get out and cheer on the runners!