05/16/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

5 Tips For Avoiding Daylight Savings Time Energy Lag

This weekend marked the beginning of Daylight Savings Time where our clocks "Sprang Forward" essentially moving one hour of daylight to the evening. While many love the idea of having more daylight for evening activities, a recent national survey found that many women complain that their energy levels "fall back" at this time of year.

When we 'lose an hour' of sleep many women struggle to start their days effectively. Some researchers believe that losing that one hour of sleep can have the same effect as a three-hour jet lag. Part of the problem comes as women feel their mornings are packed with activity, like getting the kids ready for school, packing lunches, etc., and the first thing to go in a time-crunch is breakfast.

It really is the most important meal of the day and even with a busy schedule one should be certain to get a nutritious breakfast in with the vitamins and nutrients you need to help overcome the loss of energy. Enjoy some fruit, yogurt, or high-protein cereal to set the day moving in a positive direction, rather than relying on coffee or other caffeinated beverages. Focus on setting yourself up for success during this time.

Prevention is the Key!

You can take five simple steps to boost energy and prepare for the time change, here are a few.

1. Go to bed earlier so that your body gets in sync with the time change sooner. In a recent survey, 34 percent of women explained that they experienced increased fatigue and 25 percent had increased irritability during the spring forward phase of Daylight Saving Time. Getting adequate sleep helps to prevent this. So, though it's tempting to stay up later, going to bed early can save you -- and those around you -- from grumpiness and energy burnout!

2. Move dinner time up by an hour before the time change to help your body adjust quicker.

3. Eat a nutritious breakfast with the vitamins and nutrients you need to energize you.

4. Keep your exercise routine intact. The body always adjusts to stress better when we get regular physical activity. So, even if you're just going for a brisk walk, maintain an active routine.

5. Prepare for busy mornings the night before. Get your kids involved in family planning by having them help prepare lunch for the next day, laying out their book bags and school clothes at night.

Finally, studies show that the incidence of morning accidents increases at this time of year, presumably because we're already a sleep deprived nation and the loss of one hour of sleep makes mornings a sluggish, slow-reaction-time part of the day. Limit your alcohol consumption this week as your body tends to be more sensitive to alcohol's effects when you're fatigued.

For more information on how to plan healthy meals for the whole family, visit for one months FREE access to our Online Nutrition and Fitness Planner by entering the promotional code makeover.

Empowering you to Reclaim Wellness,
Dr. Andrea

About Dr. Pennington

Andrea Pennington, MD, C.Ac. is America's Empowerment Doctor. She is a physician, acupuncturist, author and medical journalist in private practice in the Beverly Hills and the Washington, DC Metro area. Dr. Pennington operates Pennington Empowerment Media providing life transforming health and wellness resources via books, TV and radio. She is the creator of Diabetes ProofTM - a national lifestyle campaign uniting and empowering American families to actively transform their whole life to prevent, reverse and manage type 2 diabetes. With her newest Web destination,, Dr. Pennington delivers an unparalleled resource for diabetes education, prevention and overall wellness.

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