Daylight Saving Time can make kids ‘cranky and irritable’

Turns out, even in the days of limited travel, people can have all the grogginess and crankiness of jet lag without the fun associated with voyaging to a different time zone.

Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, meaning everyone is supposed to set their clocks back one hour. Though Daylight Saving, which starts in March when people typically push clocks ahead one hour, was originally intended as a way to conserve energy and make better use of daylight, some experts said it often feels like more trouble than it’s worth.

That’s particularly true for the first day or so after the time shift, said Dr. Philip Greenspan, a pulmonologist and sleep specialist with Yale New Haven Health.


“Our bodies are set to a certain rhythm,” he said. “What happens when that (rhythm) changes is like a kind of jet lag. Our bodies have to adjust to that change.”

That can lead to temporary grogginess and sleepiness, Greenspan said. For children, who need sleep to develop properly, shifting that hour can be particularly difficult, said Dr. Taralyn Cronin-Weir, pediatrics specialist with Yale New Haven Health.

During time changes, she said, children can get thrown off their sleep schedule.

“They can be cranky or irritable,” she said.

Some experts have argued that the impact of Daylight Saving is a bit more dire than some sleepiness and a bad attitude. In August, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine released a position statement, arguing for a switch from Daylight Saving to a permanent standard time.

The position paper cited several possible health drawbacks to Daylight Saving Time, including an increased risk of stroke to a rise in traffic fatalities. The sleep medicine academy also referenced a research abstract published in May that found an 18 percent increase in adverse medical events related to human error in the week after switching to Daylight Saving.

“A change to permanent standard time is best aligned with human circadian biology and has the potential to produce beneficial effects for public health and safety,” the statement read.

Until that happens, Greenspan and Cronin-Weir said the best people can do is learn to live with Daylight Saving. Cronin-Weir said parents wishing to keep their kids sleep schedule on track can use the next few days to gradually shift them to an earlier bedtime to prepare their bodies for the change.

And Greenspan said people should keep in mind that any grogginess they feel after the time shift isn’t permanent. “It usually takes about a day for every hour you shift to recover,” he said.

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What You Need To Know About Functional Medicine & Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome

You've got questions about natural treatments for IBS, and we have answers.

We treat a lot of IBS cases in practice in our Longmont and Denver, CO offices. Often, we see patients who have run the gauntlet with chronic GI pain, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea (or a combination of all of these), who have seen every doctor and taken all the prescription medications they've been recommended, and yet, they still feel miserable and their symptoms have not subsided. Or, they get some temporary relief, only to find new and (uncomfortable) triggers resulting in more flare ups.

We practice Functional Medicine. We take a different approach to treating gut issues. Especially Irritable Bowel Syndrome, because it affects people so differently, yet it's disease processes are often similar for most sufferers. In Functional Medicine, we do not automatically assume IBS is solely a "gut issue" because we know that IBS is often the symptomatic outcome of a combination of issues.

One of the first things we will recommend is blood work or other diagnostic testing (depending on your specific situation). Now, that may be met with a bit of hesitation at first as you say to yourself, "well, I've had blood work done already and they told me there's nothing wrong! Everything checked out as 'normal.'" Depending on the specific training of whom exactly is looking at and interpreting the results of these tests can mean a world of difference between continued recurrences of IBS, and the relief you're seeking. We say this because not all tests are created equally and viewing their results through the lens of Functional Blood Chemistry (which uses a different set of reference ranges) can detect whether the symptoms you experience are from infection, stress, a food sensitivity or a combination of many factors. Many men and women with IBS suffer from:

  • SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth)
  • Parasites
  • H. pylori
  • Yeast overgrowth
  • Food sensitivities

It is imperative then to treat the root cause (s) of the IBS in order to control the symptoms. We generally like to treat IBS as a metabolic condition, because all of the body's systems must be brought back into harmony before any real, quantifiable, long term relief can begin. In addition to treating determinable IBS protagonists like those above, a "typical" Functional Medicine IBS protocol should also include …

A Metabolic cleanse heavily focusing on the Hepatic system. Clearing the liver, pancreas and gallbladder of sludge and toxins helps support those organs in order for them to work most efficiently. Not to mention, when these organs are fatigued, they cannot clear hormones as intended or help in digestion properly.

Next we will look at the patient's diet. We will either have an idea of ​​foods they need to permanently avoid from the results of their food sensitivity test (s), or we will recommend an elimination diet to find offending items. In our practice we strongly recommend food sensitivity testing through a lab called Cyrex. They have many arrays and can test …

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