Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Help, Advice? Adjusting to Daylight Saving Time?

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by oceiv, Mar 7, 2015.

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Do you have trouble adjusting to Daylight Saving Time?

  1. Yes. During Both Spring and Fall.

    10 vote(s)
    45.5%
  2. Yes. Only for the Spring adjustment.

    5 vote(s)
    22.7%
  3. Yes. Only for the Fall adjustment.

    1 vote(s)
    4.5%
  4. No. I'm fine during both adjustments.

    3 vote(s)
    13.6%
  5. It depends. It varies.

    3 vote(s)
    13.6%
  6. Other.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. oceiv

    oceiv Senior Member

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    Daylight Saving Time goes into effect in a couple of hours, in most of the U.S. For overseas readers who may not have DST: In the Fall, we gain one hour; at the specified hour, say 3:00 am, it is suddenly 2:00 am. In the Spring, we lose an hour; at 2:00 am today, it will suddenly be 3:00 am. I can easily adjust to the Fall Back, but have a really hard time adjusting to the Spring Forward. My body clock is always really messed up, but Spring Forward makes it worse. I still wake up on the Fall schedule. Does anyone have any suggestions, tips, advice for how to better adjust?

    What hasn't worked for this or for my generally out-of-whack body clock:

    Good sleep hygiene.
    Darkness Therapy (sitting in a dark room makes my insomnia worse)
    Turning off TV, computer, stopping other activities (makes my insomnia worse)
    Taking my sleep medications an hour earlier. (I do this, but my body clock stays on Fall time. I still wake up at the old Fall time, which is now an hour later).
    Mindfulness meditation (helps other symptoms, but not this one)
    Forcing myself to get up an hour earlier (I feel groggy, jet-lagged and sleepy all day)

    I can't try new herbs or medications right now due to a variety of factors. But, I may be able to tolerate an herbal tea if it's super-gentle on the stomach. But, I can't have chamomile tea because it's not recommended for people who have ragweed allergies. Things like valerian are probably too strong right now. I also can't go back to a sleep doc right now, because of the current severity of my ME/CFS.

    Is there something in my routine I can change? Or something I can add to my routine? Something I can change in my environment? My hours are already so out-of-whack, I'd love for them not to get one more hour out-of-whack.

    A recent article in WAPO debunked some of the most popular myths/benefits of Daylight Saving Time. Really eye-opening. This is my first new thread. I hope it's in the right forum.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
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  2. L'engle

    L'engle moogle

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    I can't seem to remember what happens but it usually results in being underslept in the spring change and just getting an extra good sleep hour in the fall. I just found out now that tonight will be an hour short. Already had short sleeps the last three nights. Tomorrow is a write off, hopefully consequences don't keep going.
     
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  3. oceiv

    oceiv Senior Member

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    Good description. I hope for you as well that consequences don't continue. Oddly, I had shorter sleeps in the past few days, too. I just read that people with pre-existing sleep problems like insomnia, have more trouble adjusting to DST. I wonder what percentage of ME/CFS patients have trouble adjusting to DST.
     
    L'engle likes this.
  4. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    I have problems both spring and fall, for weeks. It is like jet lag. When I try to keep a normal schedule, problems are prolonged. In desperation one season, I rebelled and ignored the clock, staying up and doing pleasant activities until I crashed, regardless of the consequences the next day or two. Strangely, that worked, getting me to a normal rhythm more quickly. So I do it on purpose now. Forget sleep hygiene. Bring on the around-the-clock party! :woot: Like I can party...
     
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  5. oceiv

    oceiv Senior Member

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    That last part made me smile :D (why is the big smiley green?). Also, I think you're onto something. If I'm extra-exhausted, I sleep more deeply. But only if I'm exhausted in a certain way. Otherwise, I get worse insomnia (counter-intuitive, right?). If I can think of what will exhaust me in the right way (but not induce too much PEM), I may be able to sleep more deeply and get up earlier. I just have to think of what I can do. If only it could be a round-the-clock party. ;) :lol:
     
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  6. A zombie

    A zombie

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    I expect tomorrow to be awful :devil::eek::aghhh: Each passing day will get considerably easier. I think i've read it takes the body 4 days to adjust. Hate this damn day light savings!! more like day like Killing!!!! :confused:
     
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  7. WillowJ

    WillowJ คภภเє ɠรค๓թєl

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    If I have any kind of a schedule, both Spring and Fall daylight savings make me worse.

    If I'm to the point where I said: I will sleep when I feel sleepy and get up when I'm done sleeping... it doesn't really matter what time the clock says.

    I have done both, and both have benefits and drawbacks. Neither makes me significantly weller.

    On Daylight Savings time, I understand that the important benefit is making cyclists and pedestrians safer on the roads. If this can be done by sticking with "fake time", then by all means I would support switching that into "standard" time. Not sure what we would do about the places that don't observe DS, though.

    My impression is that it required both times from back before they extended it, though. I think Congress was just like, "if DS saves electricity, let's save more by extending it! :angel:" . :rolleyes:
     
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  8. oceiv

    oceiv Senior Member

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    Thank you for the replies. :) It is good to hear from others who have trouble adjusting, although I don't wish this problem on any of us. It's also interesting to see the poll results so far. Would love to hear details if poll takers are up to it.

    @A zombie Sorry to hear that tomorrow will be bad for you. It's great that each subsequent day gets easier for you. Is there anything you do during the subsequent days that makes recovery better or worse? 4 days recovery time is probably for healthier people, no? Previously, my body just didn't adjust at all, no matter how much recovery time. I just stayed on Fall time. I too really, really hate DST

    Working on other replies...
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  9. oceiv

    oceiv Senior Member

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    Ooh double whammy. Ouch. Would you then eventually adjust to the new time?

    Right. I'm usually on a schedule on which, it doesn't matter when I get up. I always take my sleep meds at the same. When they kick in differs. But, at the end of the month, I got a doctor to come here. The only appointment time was 9:00 a.m.! :jaw-drop: I have no idea how I will do it unless I stay up. This is one reason I can't drift further away from "normal people time." I've done both too. For me, sleeping when I can and letting myself wake naturally, helps me feel better, but doesn't significantly alter my base severity. What drawbacks did you find doing this method>

    Ha. Yeah, exactly. Trouble is, it doesn't save electricity. but as you said/illustrated, it doesn't matter.

    Several articles I read said that pedestrian accidents actually go up after a time change. Weird.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
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  10. oceiv

    oceiv Senior Member

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    I tried a modified version of the @GracieJ method for adjusting to DST. This is the most I've adjusted to DST since I've had ME/CFS. I slept soundly and woke naturally 1/2 hour earlier than my recent average. Thank you! I have no idea if the change will carry over. I have had PEM today as is usual after any activity. But it is the kind of PEM that will subside because I picked one activity I've recovered from in the past and I knew this activity would cause only moderate but time-limited PEM symptoms. I can't replicate the @GracieJ method on subsequent days, due to PEM and the multplier effect if I don't rest until PEM is gone. So, I am looking for additional solutions for adjusting fully to DST.

    Has anyone had experience with tart cherry juice or jasmine or geranium essential oils for inducing sleep? Any other ideas for that tired but wired symptom of our illness?
     
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  11. WillowJ

    WillowJ คภภเє ɠรค๓թєl

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    hahaha! So they don't really know, then? If that's so, then I will very happily go back to my previous position of not supporting a time change at all.

    Eventually would fall into a new pattern of some kind, or at least stop feeling jet-lagged.

    Some years I have kept my schedule at a time that was consistent with the old schedule, though the light changes and that's not ideal, either. I might change incrementally to the new time or change my schedule altogether, because of the disruption.
    When I am sleeping during a time I need to make a call or something, or a doctor has only an 8am appointment.

    Cool that you got a doc to come there. All the best with your appointment (and being up at a difficult time for you) and with adjusting to daylight savings time.
     
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  12. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I have dreadful trouble adjusting, both ways.
    The best analogy I can think of is jet-lag.

    It is easier for a normal person's body to keep going until the next sleep time and so get very tired, than it is to try to go to bed earlier and adjust the clock "backwards".

    I have read some research on jet-lag, which found that if somebody adjusts their meal times beforehand, to the earlier clock time, that the rest of the body follows much better.

    Adjusting eating times helps to shift the body clock.:thumbsup:
    It's a physical prompt for it.

    No use for me at all - I seem to have a 25 hour body clock, and I most decidedly do not have regular meal times.:rolleyes:
     
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  13. oceiv

    oceiv Senior Member

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    I just lost a reply to you both, @WillowJ and @peggy-sue . I'm having trouble with this site today. Keep getting logged out every few minutes. Every action (liking posts, clicking on threads, posting a response) takes forever and then more times than not, logs me out. I will try to re-post tonight. But if not, will tomorrow.
     
  14. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    I hope you are doing okay.

    It usually took me three-four weeks to adjust. Now it seems I have forgotten about it after a week. But I still get nervous every time, it is so miserable fighting sleep when the clock says it is not bedtime yet, then waking too early, napping too long, being too wired... hard enough for a normal person. I am never sure how well I will do or not. It is much easier struggling for a few days rather than a few weeks.

    I have to agree about the mealtime part. That seems the most messed-up, eating when not hungry, or having to wait when hungry. It sure seems to help a lot to adjust it around, though.

    Let's get this abolished.
     
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  15. oceiv

    oceiv Senior Member

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    @WillowJ They really don't! The only benefit of DST that I haven't seen debunked is that school kids won't stand in the dark while waiting for the bus. But they do still, at least some of the time because DST doesn't completely solve the problem. I'd say that the @WillowJ method of staying on Fall time is a good one if you can schedule your appointments to not conflict. I was on this method involuntarily until thus week. It sucks that it took so long to adjust, but good that you eventually did. If you don't mind answering, how did you or others handle those 8 am appointments when you were on this schedule? Just stay up or are there some other strategies I'm overlooking? Thanks for the good wishes, :) It was nearly impossible to find a doc who would come, but I had lots of help in the search. After much searching, I found that my local government keeps a list of such docs (for anyone else searching), but most see only seniors.

    @peggy-sue You explained it so well. ME/CFS patient cannot handle waiting until the next sleep. I guess we could call it DST-lag. I agree about the physical prompts. Most of the DST advice I read (except here) has been geared towards healthy people and doesn't help in our situations. I do have to eat meals at regular times now because I have medications, which require being taken with food. No help at all wrt time changes. Does your 25 hour cycle mean that you have a later and later bedtime as time goes on? If so, what do you do?
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
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  16. oceiv

    oceiv Senior Member

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    I am okay @GracieJ It's so sweet that you asked. :) (I don't see a hug smiley, so just picture one here). I'm touched. I read tonight that this site was updated yesterday. I don't know if it was related, seems likely that it was, but I kept getting logged out every few minutes. So, when I went to post my reply last night, it disappeared because because I was then logged out. :eek:

    Your method carried over to the third day (1/2 hour towards DST). It's pretty cool. :woot: I had PEM for a little over a day - good trade IMO. I've added in tart cherry juice and am slowly trying to switch over to non-blue light a few hours before sleep, to reinforce the change. Apparently, people like me who naturally have delayed sleep onset are particularly sensitive to blue light at night. Just found this out, yesterday. When I was trying low-lighting/darkness therapy before, it didn't work because it was the wrong color light. I'm now looking for a blue-blocking filter for my computer. They make them for phones and tablets, if anyone is interested. There are also blue-blocking sunglasses (who knew?). Hoping these two methods get me to the full hour change. I might feel a little weird sitting in yellow-orangey light for hours, but what the heck.:p

    Well-said and described. It is nerve-wracking because we can always react differently to the same activity. It's pretty genius that you stumbled upon this method. When I read it, I had a gut feeling it would work for me. So, it was worth the gamble (as you say a few days vs. weeks or months or in my case never). Pre-illness, I would always stay up for over a day to adjust. The resultant sleep let me adjust. I read yesterday, that this is a last-resort measure sleep doctors use for delayed sleep onset patients.
     
  17. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    @oceiv Glad it is working and I hope it continues. I can be off the beaten track and highly unorthodox with my thinking. I am still in the off mode, only a couple of days in. Have not adjusted quite yet. It is 4 am here. Telling on myself!

    There are several posts on the forums about blue light, light boxes, and the applications.

    I found out about it through Apollo in 2006 when it was still in operation. My online test (sadly no longer available) indicated the use of light about 8:30 at night, not at all in the morning. I have never found this concept again. As it helped me immensely I keep sharing it. Supposedly it is all wrong. But that would be me. :rolleyes: Most benefit from morning use, then block blue light at night. I have my GoLite on for an hour in the evening if I am having any difficulty. I know, odd.

    My body clock is naturally on an 18-hour cycle, midnight to 6 pm. 6 pm would feel to me like 10 pm does to others. I would be ready to sleep, fight it for hours, finally go to sleep at 10 or 11, then wake up at 2 am, wide awake, eight hours after that shut-off point. So annoying.

    The technology was developed for the astronauts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
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  18. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    Crunch time...

    Didn't sleep until about 7 am, and that was not on purpose. No naps today, have to last a few more hours...

    What is it about the time change that sets me off by several hours, not just one?? I go from going to bed about midnight, which on the time change would be the old 11 pm, to later and later, the old 1 am then the old 2 am or later. It's like a boomerang.

    It gets broken tonight. Mua-ha-ha-ha.
     
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  19. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

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    It usually takes me a week or two to adjust to the time change whether it is in the fall or the spring. :(
     
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  20. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I haven't read this whole thread so sorry, if someone has already said this. I change my clocks but stick to my old schedule, then change slowly, maybe 10 minutes a day.

    Sushi
     
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