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Staying safe and healthy during the time change

After Sunday’s time change, many people feel off kilter and not themselves.

Daylight Savings is notorious for disrupting sleep cycles and causing people to be more tired and disoriented than normal. While the fall-back is not as intense as the spring-forward, people should still be cautious during these times.

“Anytime there is a time adjustment there can be a problem,” said Dr. A.K. Misra, medical director at U.S. HealthWorks. “An example could be international time travel or jet lag, but Daylight Savings also has the same effect.”

Some of the effects can leave some people not as well rested and sharp, and sometimes cause depression in some cases, he said.

To stay healthy and on top of your game, stick to healthy eating and exercise plans as well as setting a specific time to go to bed to make sure you get enough sleep.

“An exercise prescription is especially important to maintain during this time,” Misra said. “Stay away from excessive sugar and fat consumption. You should be mindful of what and how much you are eating.”

Misra recommends sticking to the 80-20 formula – eat healthy and exercise 80 percent of your time and save 20 percent for comfort foods. He also recommends not taking short cuts such as having too much caffeine to boost your energy.

“It is important to maintain the exercise direction and not over-do the consumption of comfort foods,” Misra said. “While this time we get an extra hour of sleep, some people may still be off. Do healthy things and eat correctly rather than circumvent the process to return to the normal cycle because doing so can actually disrupt the transition.”

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  • American College of Physicians
  • Andrews Research & Education Foundation
  • American Board of Internal Medicine
  • JJM Medical College
  • Acuity Benefit consulting