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Daylight saving time in 2024 is quickly approaching, and the shift can have a significant impact on our health. The change causes a phase shift in our circadian rhythm, leading to increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, car accidents, medical errors, and hospital admissions. To help make the adjustment easier, experts recommend going to bed earlier in the days leading up to the change and getting morning sunshine when you wake up.

Daylight saving time starts on March 10, 2024, moving the clocks forward by one hour, and ends on Nov. 3, 2024, when clocks are moved back by an hour. It is an annual practice that affects most Americans, and it lasts for eight months from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November. The practice was implemented during World War I to conserve energy, but the actual effects have been minimal.

States and territories that do not observe daylight saving time include Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. If daylight saving time was made permanent, there would be no need to change the clocks twice a year. Some experts argue that permanent standard time would be preferable to permanent daylight saving time for health reasons. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine supports a national, fixed, year-round time to align better with human circadian biology and improve public health and safety.

To reduce the negative health effects of daylight saving time, experts suggest making adjustments to your routine. Before the time change, going to bed 15 minutes earlier a few days before, setting your wakeup time 30 minutes ahead, and adjusting your kids’ schedules can help. Trick your brain by changing the time on a wristwatch gradually. The day after the time change, avoid naps, get plenty of sunlight, readjust your routine, watch your diet, avoid late-night exercise, and reduce screen time close to bedtime.

Overall, daylight saving time can have a significant impact on our health and well-being. By understanding the effects of the time change and making small adjustments to our routines, we can help mitigate the negative health effects and make the transition easier. Experts recommend adopting a fixed, year-round time to align better with our biological clocks and improve public health and safety.

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