Plenty of us feel a very real sense of “blah” following the time change.

Daylight saving time confuses the body, causing a bit of chaos. The change in the hours of activity and rest causes tiredness, drowsiness, and irritability. Some people experience it more severely than others. These symptoms are because the immediate effect of this change is an alteration in melatonin secretion.

Dr. Jay Puangco, a neurologist specializing in sleep medicine at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California, says it’s important not to underestimate the importance of sleep, and that the brain needs a little prep time to get used to the new schedule.

“Poor sleep can lead to craving for high-calorie foods, unhealthy snacking, and fast food,” he said. “There is less desire to exercise. This combination can lead to poor judgment, decreased productivity, and irritability. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a cascade of physical illnesses as common as a cold and as severe as diabetes or heart failure.”

Dr. Jay Puangco, MD

But not everyone is affected the same way, or even at all.

Though you can’t pick what time it is, there are things you can do with light.

Turning many lights on if awakening early enough to be in darkness and turning on the same light as soon as it gets dark may help your body make these time change transitions earlier.

These light cues may help your body get used to the new schedule faster. Trying to maintain a constant total sleep time or time in bed during these changes can also shorten the time to ‘feel back to normal’ after a time change.

Our Sleep Specialist

Jay Puangco, MD is one of the most sought after sleep physicians in Orange County. He is highly respected amongst his colleagues and well loved by his patients due to his compassionate approach to care. He is double board certified in both neurology and sleep medicine. This combination provides a comprehensive approach to the treatment of sleep disorders. He also stays up to date to provide the latest advancements in treatment for his patients.

Jay currently serves as Chief of Service for the Hoag Voltmer Sleep Center. During his tenure there, he has developed the successful cognitive behavioral therapy program for insomnia. He has also created programs to work closely with cardiologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, dentists, and ENT surgeons to treat all aspects of sleep disorders.

Read more in the article from Healthline.