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Monday Motivation: Daylight saving time and your mood

Daylight saving time can trigger mood disorders. Health and wellness expert Lynch Hunt gives you tips to adjust

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The first Monday after we set our clocks back can be difficult for some more than others.

Your body's natural clock is adjusting when daylight saving time (DST) ends and in some cases, the time change can also affect your mood or trigger unhappiness.  Good Morning Show viewer Asia Stacy wrote in about that.

"I'm dreading the time changes.  Every year, my mood, sleep, and everything is affected because the sun sets so early.  Any tips to turn this into some sort of positive outlook?" she asked.

Health and wellness expert Lynch Hunt shared his expertise.

"We all have a natural internal process that regulates the sleep and wake cycle called the circadian rhythm.  During daylight saving time, these rhythms shift and your sleep cycles are thrown off.  When this happens, our bodies notice the difference," said Hunt, who owns A.W.O.L. Fitness.

"Since we're gaining an hour of sleep it's going to be tempting to stay up later, but this is the perfect time to change our habits by coming up with a sleep routine so we can keep our bedtimes consistent.  The closer you stick to this normal routine, the faster your body is going to adjust to the time change," said Hunt.

"Before bed, I want you to slow your body down.  Make a point to cut off all caffeinated beverages 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.  Avoid alcohol in the evening at all costs, and definitely avoid any workouts four hours before you go to bed.  An hour before bedtime put your phone down, turn off your computer, and put down your tablet because that light is going to stimulate your brain and make it harder for you to fall asleep."

Hunt said if you can stick to this new sleep routine, it will help your body feel better equipped to handle the time change.  

Hunt answers a new question every week during the Good Morning Show's Monday Motivation segment on WFMY News 2.  If you have a question that you want to be answered, email it to tmccain@wfmy.com.