March 14th marked yet another Daylight Saving Time, where we spring forward into warmth and renewal. However, this spring reset also comes with losing an hour of sleep. An hour of lost sleep doesn't seem like much, but this change in daily pattern throws off our circadian rhythm, or internal clock, and can have severe health impacts.
This internal clock is what our body runs off of, telling us when to carry out essential functions and processes with each tick. This includes when to sleep, wake up, release hormones, eat, regulate body temperature, digest, and other essential actions that help us feel our best. Daylight Savings Time yanks these internal timers out of sync- particularly in the springtime because most people find it harder to get up earlier than to stay up later. The side effects this lack of sleep bring can be severe and, as noted by Paula Spencer Scott, include:
Low Moods: Darker mornings mean less vitamin D- which is linked to low moods and depression, as well as fatigue, muscle pain, and weakened bones.
Erratic Driving: There are more car accidents on the Monday following Daylight Savings Time, likely due to lack of sleep and grogginess.
Cardiovascular Events: Heart attacks and strokes spike almost 25% on the Monday following spring’s time shift.
Lack of Productivity: Stressed body clocks can affect cognition, including memory, alertness and learning. This can impact our work, energy, and overall productivity.
Overeating: Lack of sleep can lead to increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and decreased levels of leptin, the satiety hormone. Research also shows that when we're sleep-deprived, our brains respond more strongly to junk food and have less of an ability to practice portion control.
Luckily, CBD, along with healthy sleep hygiene, can help our bodies adapt to these changes and prioritize sleep and wellness. CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) which helps regulate many bodily functions- including sleep. The ECS is responsible for helping our bodies maintain homeostasis, the ability to maintain a relatively stable internal state that persists despite changes in the outside world. And because CBD has been praised for its mood boosting, sleep enhancing and inflammation reducing benefits it only makes sense it’s a beneficial aid in making the daylight savings adjustment a bit easier.