Why Daylight Savings Time can wreak havoc on your system

Watching the clock

It’s been a week and a half since we “sprung forward.” And I know a few people who are still trying to recover. But the effects of Daylight Savings Time on your internal clock are more important than you might think.

Your internal clock is a 24-hour-cycle known as the circadian rhythm. It’s why you feel sleepy at night and alert during the day. And why Daylight Savings Time can wreak havoc on your system. This natural clock also regulates hormones and biological processes, like body temperature, blood pressure, appetite, and thirst.

And when your body clock is off, you’re more likely to come down with colds or other infections. But the reason for this phenomenon has been somewhat of a mystery–until now.

A group of Yale researchers made a discovery recently that shed some light on how your body’s internal clock affects your immune system.

They gave vaccinations to rats at various times during a 24-hour cycle, and found an interesting pattern. The rats’ immune responses varied according to the time of day they were vaccinated.

That’s because levels of a key immune system also vary throughout the day.

That’s good for the rats. But what does it mean for you?

It means that paying attention to your internal body clock is an important part of getting–and staying–healthy. And there are a few simple tips you can follow to keep your body clock (and your immunity) in prime shape: