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Mental health expert gives good tips for adjusting to daylight saving time

Moving the clock back one hour in the fall doesn't just affect your schedule, it can throw off your body's internal clock too.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Daylight saving time officially takes place at 2 a.m. Sunday, when clocks will be turned back by one hour. 

While some may adjust to the time change with no problem, be aware that for others, it may take a little longer. 

Moving the clock back one hour in the fall doesn't just affect your schedule, it can throw off your body's internal clock too.

Even gaining an hour of sleep can leave you feeling sluggish.

And although having more light in the morning means less in the evening, most of us will manage to fight through the change. For others, however, adjusting may include more than that.

"Really, the people that it affects most significantly, will be the people who are already prone to being depressed or experiencing anxiety or some other kind of mental health issue," said Kristi Phillips, Executive Director of Family Counseling Service. 

Phillips said that sleep patterns can be crucial to our overall well-being.

"One of the most important, basic things we can do to take care of ourselves both mentally and physically is to make sure you're getting the right amount of sleep for you," she said. 

Phillips also suggests that with the time change, be purposeful about doing those things that can help you maintain your energy and a positive outlook. That could include soaking in the sunlight earlier in the day, getting outside on your lunch break, or taking a walk before dinner instead of after.

"Do all of the coping skills: working out, mindfulness, meditation. Whatever is on that list for you, those are the things that you really need to be extra intentional about doing during any kind of transition like this," she said. 

And for parents with small children, remember that you might see some irritability in your child during the change. It may be a good idea to start tonight and adjust their bedtime routine in increments, rather than trying to do it all at once.

Probably good advice for all of us.

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