Sunday, November 4, 2018

Hacking Daylight Savings Time

Early Wake Up Call

It is 4:55 AM and I am awake an hour and five minutes before my normal wake up time. Is something wrong? No. Well, not with me. It is the Sunday of the Fall Daylight Savings Time (DST). It is almost 5:00 AM, which yesterday was 6:00 AM, my normal wake time. So, everything would appear to be correct, except the numbers on my clock and the lack of brightness in the sky.

Gain Sleep?

It is that time of year when many Americans turn their clock back an hour, or as some have come to call it "The good Daylight Savings Time"..." where you gain sleep". Gain sleep? If you are like most people, your wake up time has not changed so the hour you "gain" going to sleep is promptly "lost" when you wake up. Instead, all you gain is the frustration of external factors messing with your circadian rhythm, a feeling anyone who has traveled outside their normal time zone has experienced.

What's the big deal?

People travel outside their normal time zone all the time, so Daylight Savings Time should not be a big deal? While many of the symptoms attributed "jet lag" is every bit as much about the conditions on an airplane, a major component of it is the shift in time zones. 

Is this really about "time"?

While we attribute the shift to "time", what we are actually are referring to is the shift between our circadian rhythm relative and the solar cycle that we use to define "night" and "day" in the location we are now in. As I posted in my Hacking Blue Light post, our eyes use Melanopsin to detect blue light, specifically light between 420 nm and 440 nm, the sort of light that is present in sunlight and a bright blue sky. Avoiding sources of blue light can help you maintain or adjust your Circadian Rhythm. 

Your Personal DST Strategy

If you refer to my definition of "Biohacker", you will note that its a personal endeavor to gain control of one's genetic and epigenetic systems. While most of the world struggles to survive their circadian rhythm shift, you can choose to thrive.

My Personal DST Strategy

I intend not to change my circadian rhythm. I spent over a year training my circadian rhythm. I will simply shift my bedtime and wake time to their new DST times. As the fall Daylight Savings will shift the clocks back, I will "gain" an hour in the morning. What could you accomplish with one more hour in the morning?

Stay well engineered,

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These statements or products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.