Reset your body clock for Daylight Savings Time with a hot tub soak

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This Sunday morning at 2 a.m. it will be time to “fall back” one hour, signaling the resetting of our clocks till it’s time for Daylight Savings to begin anew in the Spring of 2012.

Did you know…? Benjamin Franklin was actually one of the earliest proponents of the concept of Daylight Savings Time. According to the book Seize the Daylight by David Prerau, Franklin wrote about the idea of “early to bed & early to rise” when serving as the U.S. Ambassador to France. The idea of using fewer resources (at the time oil used for light) by rising earlier and taking advantage of more daylight and thereby becoming more productive appealed to him.

The U.S. chose to standardize the official start and end times of a daylight saving period in 1918, although it was up to individual states as to whether they chose to enact the period. During World War II, daylight saving was initiated year round, to help conserve resources need for the war effort. In the early 1970s, daylight saving was extended in the U.S. during the oil crisis, which resulted in a 1% decrease in the country’s electrical load. The latest change to the daylight saving period occurred in 2007, when the U.S. extended the entire period by one month, is said to have reduced the U.S.’s overall energy consumption by .03%.

So…what does all this back and forth time adjusting do to your body?? Well, many chronobiologists believe that your body never really adjusts to the time changes. Your circadian sleep periods get out of whack, creating “social jet lag” in the developed world.

How can you combat this “social jet lag”? By a soak in your hot tub! We know that a good hot tub session about an hour before you are ready for bed helps your body to fall into a more restful REM type sleep, and also helps you sleep through the night.

This weekend, do the same thing with your before bed hot tub soak—“fall back” your hot tub soak one hour as well. If you normally soak around 10:30, this Saturday instead soak at 9:30. Adjusting your soak back one hour may help your body’s clock reset as well, allowing you to sleep through the night and experience less “chronal upset” this weekend. It certainly can’t hurt! So, please take your hot tub soak one hour early—and wake up more rested in the morning!