Posts Tagged ‘Daylight Saving Time’

Light and Darkness – Daylight Saving Time

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Day Night 252x300 Light and Darkness   Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Savings Time (DST) is almost here, just in time to throw off our natural body clock and potentially increase the incidences of a variety of health issues, including fatigue, accidents, depression, and heart attacks.

Even though it’s only a difference of 1 hour, DST can create just enough of a change to stress our bodies and disturb our natural rhythm, leaving us feeling “off” for a few days until we readjust to the new time.

However, there are some simple changes that we can make in our daily routines to help our bodies adapt and keep us more awake during the day and get better sleep at night:

  1. Seek daylight – Our body clocks are extremely sensitive to changes in light and darkness. Unfortunately, we spend most of our daytime hours stuck inside at work, often under artificial lighting. Taking time to go outside at noon on our lunch break, even if it’s cloudy and overcast, can help to reset our body clock and make us more awake during the daytime.
  2. Less blue at night – The light emitted from electronic devices, including computer screens and televisions, contains a lot of the blue light spectrum which tends to trick the body into thinking that it’s actually daylight. If you do need to use a computer in the evening, there are various software programs available such as f.lux or Night Shift that help to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from the computer screen. For those who watch television at night, turning off the tv an hour or two before bedtime can be helpful in preparing for sleep.
  3. Seek darkness – When it’s time to go to bed, try to have as dark of a room as possible. This ideally means blackout curtains and removing or blocking out any sort of light source including LED alarm clocks or other electronics that emit light.

By making some simple and positive changes to our lives, we can get just a little bit closer to living more in harmony with Nature, or as the 2,000 year old acupuncture textbook the Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine) describes it:

“In ancient times there was a type of natural people who followed the Tao (the natural way of the universe) and were called naturalists. They lived in accordance with the rhythmic patterns of the seasons: heaven and earth, moon, sun, and stars. They aspired to follow the ways of ancient times, choosing not to lead excessive lifestyles. They lived plainly and enjoyed long life.”

The 24 Hour Clock

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Love it or hate it, Daylight Savings Time (DST) is here upon us. However, as critics point out, there seems to be some evidence that this sudden change in time can create various health problems associated with a disruption and stress to our natural circadian rhythm, including fatigue, sleeping difficulties, mood changes, and even an increase in traffic accidents.

Long before the western scientific discovery of circadian rhythm, did you know that Traditional Chinese Medicine also described a 24-hour cycle in the human body?

The following table lists the windows of time in which the various organs and their corresponding meridian pathways are the most active according to time acupuncture theory:

  • 3 am – 5 am Lung
  • 5 am – 7 am Large Intestine
  • 7 am – 9 am Stomach
  • 9 am – 11 am Spleen-Pancreas
  • 11 am – 1 pm Heart
  • 1 pm – 3 pm Small Intestine
  • 3 pm – 5 pm Bladder
  • 5 pm – 7 pm Kidney
  • 7 pm – 9 pm Pericardium
  • 9 pm – 11 pm Triple Burner
  • 11 pm – 1 am Gallbladder
  • 1 am – 3 am Liver

This information can be clinically valuable. For example, if someone is suffering from insomnia and tends to wake up at 3am every morning, often acupuncture points related to the Lung and Liver meridians can be useful for treatment.

For others, sometimes they experience an aggravation of symptoms at a specific time of day, such as always getting a headache late in the afternoon. Again, acupuncture points on the corresponding meridian pathways associated with that particular time of day can be used during acupuncture treatment to help the body regain balance and experience an improvement in symptoms.

Western medicine is becoming more aware of the influence that time of day has on various biological processes, something that Traditional Chinese Medicine has recognized for thousands of years.