by Tony Gjokaj November 16, 2021 4 min read

Last week was very rough for a lot of us after the time change.

In fact, I felt completely OFF in regards to sleep, eating habits, and even exercise.

I will partially blame Daylight Savings for this.

It kind of sucks.

When Daylight Savings happens, it throws a lot of us off because of the time change.

We are forced to wake up later (or earlier) and get to work later (or earlier). This not only affects our work schedules, but our own biological clock (the circadian rhythm) as well.

This can lead to poor sleep quality, poor eating habits, and more.

So what can we do about this?

In this post, we cover how you can FIGHT BACK against the Daylight Savings and re-regulate your circadian rhythm.

Now with that, let's dive in!

How Daylight Savings Impacts Our Health & Fitness

Our circadian rhythm is our own 24-hour internal biological clock which aids us in various functions and processes. It is influenced by our culture, environment, and a variety of other things.

When it comes to daily savings, our circadian rhythm gets negatively impacted.

According to research, when we adjust for daylight savings, one of the most common things we encounter is disrupted sleep cycles. With disrupted sleep comes poor quality or deprivation of sleep. This can lead to elevated stress levels, poor mood, a decline in cognitive performance, and more.

In addition, with adjustments to daylight savings, our mental health can be negatively impacted as well. According to a 17-year study of over 100,000 hospital visits, it was noted that those diagnosed with depression increased by an average of 11% after time changes occurred.

In this study, this effect tended to diminish after 10 weeks.

Regardless of what kind of adjustments we make, disruption to our circadian rhythm can impact our exercise, sleep, and a variety of other processes.

3 Ways To Re-Regulate Our Rhythm

Regardless of what kind of adjustments we make, disruption to our circadian rhythm can impact our exercise, sleep, and a variety of other processes.

However, we can plan for these changes and actively work towards "re-regulating" our circadian rhythm.

Here are a few hacks and things to consider when adjusting for the time change.

I. Exercise

Exercise has been shown to be a countermeasure for changes in circadian rhythm, making it one of the ultimate re-regulators to have in your arsenal.

When it comes to time adjustments, research has shown that one in four people typically switch their morning exercise sessions to evening ones as a result of daylight savings.

That same study noted that 8% of the people in the study stopped exercise completely as a result of that time change.

We don't want to be that 8%, so we can make adjustments to our schedule.

Recall that daylight savings starts in March when things spring an hour forward, and ends in November when things fall an hour back.

At the time of writing this, we are currently in the "falling back" period, which is probably why I personally prefer to do early morning workout sessions during the holiday season.

Whatever it is you do, here is what we recommend:

  • Go earlier if you have to. Time change adjustments make people get up later in the day, so early exercise sessions are the best way to beat the crowd.
  • If you have difficulty adhering to exercise after daylight savings, don't exercise as hard. Take it easy, maybe shorten your workouts or make them less intense.
  • If you find yourself energized after a workout session, exercise earlier. This typically applies to cardiovascular exercise for some people.
  • If you find yourself tired after a workout session, exercise later in the evening. This applies to those who weight lift.

II. Sleep

As mentioned before, our sleep can be disrupted as a result of the time change.

Here are some recommendations that may help you adjust to the time change:

  • If it's Spring, stay awake 30 minutes longer. A few days later, stay awake for 30 minutes longer.
  • If it's Fall, try and fall asleep 30 minutes before. A few days later, try to sleep 30 minutes before.
  • Get sunlight exposure. This can help you regulate your circadian rhythm as well. So regularly get some light exposure.
  • Wear blue-light blocker glasses in the evening. I am writing this at 6 PM after turning the clock back an hour. It's dark outside. I wear these blockers in the evening so the blue light from my computer doesn't impact my sleep quality. It kind of helps.
  • Supplement with a melatonin supplement. We secrete melatonin in darkness in the evening. Having a sleep supplement can help drive quicker sleep and better quality of sleep through time changes. 

III. Nutrition

Nutrition can also be negatively impacted as a result of the time changes.

For one, those who are sleep deprived not only consume more junk food, but they feel hungrier. With a disruption to our biological clock comes changes to our hormones.

For example, serotonin can be impacted as a result of the time change.

So with that, here are some things we recommend when it comes to nutrition:

  • Focus on ensuring you continue to get proper nutrients. Don't fall off your diet or get sloppy. Continue getting a proper nutrient intake. Stay hydrated. Try to do the best you can with the time change.
  • If you don't get regular sun exposure (or it is limited), supplement with Vitamin D. This will help you with your sleep quality and getting an adequate amount of Vitamin D.
  • Limit junk food in your home so that it is easier to resist. With the holidays around the corner, these foods should only be enjoyed on those specific holidays. Not every day during the season. ;)

Getting Back On Track

It may take some time to get back to the groove of things, but taking these factors into consideration may help you get back on track more effectively.

To conclude, remember that exercise can be a great hack to use when dealing with time changes. As a result of exercise, you will sleep better, and even eat better.

Do not neglect your exercise sessions during the holiday season.

They're waiting for you!

If you have any questions, comments, additional tips or insights, feel free to email us at support@reforgedperformance.com or direct message us on Instagram.

Until next time, Reforged Warrior!

Tony Gjokaj
Tony Gjokaj

Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.



Also in Reforge Yourself

7 Hacks For Motivating Yourself To Exercise In 2022!
7 Hacks For Motivating Yourself To Exercise In 2022!

by Tony Gjokaj November 29, 2021 4 min read

80% of Americans don't get enough exercise.

With a more sedentary lifestyle, we know a few things can occur:

  • Increased levels of depression & anxiety. Less active lifestyles are correlated to depression and anxiety.
  • Less resilience to stress. People who live sedentary are more stressed out.
  • Lower testosterone levels. Testosterone is on a yearly decline as a result of sedentary lifestyles.
  • Poor sleep. Less active lifestyles are correlated to poor sleep quality.

With the New Year right around the corner, we want you to help you be more consistently active so you can minimize these negative effects.

In this post, we will cover seven hacks you can use to motivate yourself in the New Year.

Let's dive in!

Read More
13 Strategies To Dominate Thanksgiving Day 2021 And Stay On Track With Your Nutrition Goals!
13 Strategies To Dominate Thanksgiving Day 2021 And Stay On Track With Your Nutrition Goals!

by Tony Gjokaj November 23, 2021 3 min read

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and many of us may be fearful that we might mess up our diet after one day of holiday eating.

Fear not, we've got you covered.

In this post, we are going to talk about 13 strategies I use to dominate Thanksgiving Day and still be on track with my fitness goals.

Let's dive in!

Read More
Finding Meaning In Life Through Exercise
Finding Meaning In Life Through Exercise

by Tony Gjokaj November 06, 2021 3 min read

As a Precision Nutrition Coach, what we learned through the course is that health is not only a physical thing: it's multi-dimensional.

Health can go beyond the physical and into the mental, emotional, and more.

One of my favorites that I am currently prioritizing is the existential. What am I here for? What is my purpose?

Recently, psychological studies have been exploring exercise and it's importance in discovering or pursuing meaning.

We will be discussing this in this post.

Read More