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Melissa Groves Azzaro, RDN, LD, The Hormone Dietitian®

Feeling wonky this week?

Published 3 months ago • 2 min read

Hey there Reader,

Daylight saving time had its time and place, when it was established to help farmers and save on energy costs.

But did you know that there are multiple negative effects on our health?

  • It causes sleep deprivation and the number of motor vehicle accidents actually increases by 6% the week after the time change
  • It impacts our mental health and increases hospital visits and deaths from suicide and substance use
  • It increases the risk for heart attacks
  • It increases the risk of on-the-job injuries

The reason for all of these negative impacts is largely due to our finely tuned circadian rhythms and its impact on our sleep, mood, stress hormones, and more.

A little pea-shaped gland called the pineal gland that lives behind our eyeballs (this is important!) is responsible for managing circadian rhythm.

Exposure to light on your eyeballs in the morning and at mid-day "winds the clock" so your body knows what time to wake up and what time to start getting sleepy.

Cortisol and melatonin are opposites:

  • In the morning, cortisol should go up and melatonin should go down
  • At night, melatonin should go up and cortisol should go down

Even a little bit of a disturbance in our routine can create problems for us... making us feel sleepy during the day and/or wide awake at night.

So what can we do?

These are the tips I'm incorporating this week and encouraging my clients to as well:

  • Shift bedtime gradually by 15 minute chunks. Usually go to bed at 10 PM, but now 10 PM feels like 9 PM? This week go to bed at 10:45 PM for a few days. Then 10:30 for a few days. Then 10:15. By next week you should be comfortably back to going to bed at your "usual" time
  • Same with meal times and workout times - keep shifting these in 15-minute increments until you're back on schedule
  • That being said, eat regular, balanced, nourishing meals and move your body regularly to get ahead of any mood shifts from the changes in light and/or not enough sleep. As always, I recommend starting eating when the sun comes up and stopping eating when the sun goes down.
  • Remember that gland behind your eyeballs? Open your curtains so you wake up to natural light and if you can, get outside for a quick walk in the sunlight before noon. And then at night, minimize exposure to artificial light so you don't prevent melatonin from kicking into production (or at the very least, use night shift mode on your devices and/or blue light blocking glasses)
  • Listen to your energy when it comes to working out - this may not be the best week to try to push yourself too hard at the gym, but some movement can definitely help boost your mood
  • Consider magnesium or calming teas like chamomile, tulsi, ashwagandha, and reishi to help you wind down at night (be sure to check with your healthcare practitioner or dietitian which herbs might be right for YOU)

Struggling with out of balance cortisol? Feeling sluggish and it's not related to the time change? I include hormone testing in ALL of my programs so we can get to the root cause of your fatigue, mood issues, weight, period problems, and more.

Apply here to work with me - I've got a couple of spots available still to get started in March.


All my best,

Melissa

The Hormone Dietitian

www.thehormonedietitian.com

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IMPORTANT NOTE -> This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare practitioners before undertaking any changes in your diet or adding supplements.

Melissa Groves Azzaro, RDN, LD, The Hormone Dietitian®

Award-winning integrative and functional dietitian specializing in women's health and hormones, including PCOS, fertility, and hormone imbalances. I help busy women identify and address the root causes of their hormone imbalances so they can live a balanced life! Author of A Balanced Approach to PCOS, host of the podcast Hormonally Yours with the Hormone Dietitian, and creator of The PCOS Root Cause Roadmap (tm) and The Period Problems Root Cause Roadmap. Check out the resources I offer below and sign up for my newsletter!

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