I don’t know about you, but daylight savings time always sneaks up on me. Twice a year I catch a reminder on TV or the radio, and make a mental note. Fortunately our mobile phones make the adjustment automatically, so at least those that use our phone as an alarm clock are safe from sleeping in; but of course there’s always that dread of remembering how to operate the clock on the microwave…
But did you know that aside from being a minor inconvenience, Daylight Saving Time (DST) messes with our body? We did a little research and found a handful of studies that have attempted to focus on how this seemingly small 1-hour time change can actually impact your health. Of course being in the business of massage chairs, we wondered how a massage chair can help counteract the effects of daylight savings time.
You may have heard of the term “circadian rhythm.” Think of this as an internal 24-hour clock that drives internal body processes based on the light-dark cycle. It’s not just us humans that react to light and dark – plants, fungi and certain bacteria also react to this external input. For us, the light-dark cycle triggers our natural sleep patterns.
Changing our clocks doesn’t create extra daylight per se, but it does shift the time of day that the sun rises and sets – which we use to manage our daily activities and sleep patterns. So a sudden change that alters our normal pattern inherently surprises our internal clock. Coming up soon, setting our clocks backward one hour for the the fall means one more hour of sleep the morning. A bonus in the fall, but even this slight adjustment of sleep can have a negative impact on our underlying health.
These consequences were surprising.
They included studies that showed an increase risk of heart attack in the first 3-weeks after the spring DST adjustment. Traffic accidents show a slight bump on the Monday following the start of daylight savings. Even workplace injuries increased on the Monday following DST. Yikes – all this to save a few hours of daylight.
Can a massage chair help counteract the effects of daylight savings time?
As to helping you sleep better, massage has long been proven to help. A 20-minute session in a massage chair can help insomnia, reduce pain and anxiety, and help restore your sleep pattern after daylight savings time adjusts the clock.
Physical massage alone is beneficial, and this benefit is increased by an order of magnitude when combined with chairs that have targeted programs aimed directly at helping you get a better night’s sleep.
Some massage chairs like the Inada Sogno have an automated “nightime” program specifically designed to help with sleep.
Along with promoting deep sleep, which is where the restorative process occurs, a therapeutic massage takes it to a whole new level of relaxation, and can help you find a better night’s sleep to counteract the effects of daylight savings time.
Don’t let daylight savings get you down this year – think about a massage chair as a great antidote to the initial adjustment to the lost or gained hour of sleep due to DST. And long after daylight savings time, you’ll be healthier and happier with the benefits of daily massage, right in your own home.