You Can Start Now to Prepare for Sunday's Time Change

It's that time of the year again.  On Sunday, we set our clocks forward to start Daylight Saving Time, and deprive us of an hour of sleep which will leave us groggy and cranky all week long, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Dr. Kristin Mahan at UT Health Houston, who is a researcher in how circadian rhythms affect the body says the semi annual time change really does mess up our body clock.

"Your dog knows internally that he isn't matching up with his environment," she says.  "We need to know that even though our social clock has changed, our internal rhythms are still on yesterday's schedule."

She says you can start now making Sunday easier for your body to handle.

"This week, getting up a few minutes earlier every day, because on Monday you are going to be a full hour out of alignment.  If you start gradually, that's going to help."

She says you will in essence trick your body into accepting the new schedule by taking small steps like eating dinner earlier in the evening.

"A lot of people don't know that food intake is a major driver in some of the ryhthms in our natural clocks, like our liver," she said.  "So not eating too late, trying to move your food intake up this week is also going to help."

The fact that most states change their clocks twice a year is starting to annoy more and more Americans, and there are efforts, in Texas and elsewhere, to stop the annual shift into and out of Daylight Saving Time.

In fact, a new study shows Daylight Saving Time, which was made national during the energy crisis of the 1970s, actually wastes more energy today than it conserves.

President Carter mandated the shift to Daylight Saving Time on the argument that if the sun were up later in the evening during the summer, people would be less likely to turn on their lights and that would save energy.

But in the mid seventies, only about 50% of homes in the country were air conditioned.  Today, with a/c fairly universal, having the sun stay up later in hot summer evenings only get homeowners to run their air conditioning later into the night, using more energy.

There are also several studies indicating that the Monday morning after the spring switch to DST, when people are still groggy after losing an hour on Sunday, is one of the most dangerous times of the entire year for motor vehicle accidents.

Two measures were introduced in the 2017 session of the Texas Legislature to keep standard time in effect all year around, but it was killed, largely by pressure from the recreation industry.

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