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Health

Fall back with confidence: 5 tips for the end of daylight saving time

Jacob Tierney
| Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, 12:03 p.m.

Daylight saving time ends 2 a.m. Sunday. There's more to the occasion than setting your clocks back an hour and enjoying an extra hour of sleep. Here are five ways to get the most out of it:

1. Adjust your sleep schedule

You may welcome an extra hour of rest, but the changing clocks can come as a shock to the system. Cleveland Clinic suggests sticking to a schedule. Keeping regular patterns for meals, exercise and bed times can help your body adjust more easily. And while a daytime snooze might be tempting, long naps can wreak havoc on the body's sleep patterns, according to the clinic.

2. Test your smoke alarms

The beginning and end of daylight saving time should serve as a reminder to “Turn and Test,” according to the Red Cross. Turn your clocks back and then test the batteries in your smoke alarms, replacing them if necessary.

The Red Cross also suggests taking the opportunity to make sure your home has a disaster kit and a plan in case of emergencies.

3. Beware of seasonal depression

Long nights, gray skies and cold weather can cause depression in some people, and scientists have found daylight saving time might play a role.

A Danish study found that cases of seasonal affective disorder spike just after daylight saving time ends.

ABC News reports seasonal affective disorder affects about 3 percent of people. There are ways to ease the symptoms, including a light treatment box to simulate sunlight and light daily exercise, according to ABC News.

4. Keep an eye on the road

A British study found that the risk of car crashes rises 12 percent in November, mostly because it gets dark earlier.

Car blog Jalopnik asked AAA for advice on how to stay safe on the road. Plenty of rest is vital, as is slowing down enough to compensate for decreased visibility, according to AAA.

5. Watch your wallet

The end of daylight saving time might be bad for the economy, according to a 2016 study by financial firm JPMorgan Chase.

The study compared consumer spending in Los Angeles, which observes daylight saving time, and Phoenix, which does not. It found setting the clocks back causes a spending drop of about 3.5 percent over 30 days.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, jtierney@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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