My EDS fatigue makes daylight saving time especially challenging

Adjusting to the time change can be complicated with chronic conditions

Karen Del Vecchio avatar

by Karen Del Vecchio |

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I vaguely heard a familiar jingle, which in my fuzzy state, confused me. Why was my alarm going off when it was still dark outside? I know I get up early to take care of the animals on my small farm before I go to work, but I don’t get up that early. Then I remembered: daylight saving time. Apparently it really was time to get up. Ugh.

With Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), chronic fatigue is a constant battle. I work hard to maintain a routine that allows me to get as much sleep as possible. Even so, I often feel tired. The week after this time change is always particularly challenging, because not only is my body adjusting, but I also have to tweak my routine to stay in sync.

While I do love that I now get home when it’s still light enough outside to do chores, it also leads to a false sense of time for me. If it’s still light out, there’s plenty of time before bed, right? Well, for me, not really. I try to get to bed between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and when it’s suddenly light until 7:30 p.m., it’s easy for me to lose track of time and not even make it into the house until 8 p.m. or later — and then I still need to have dinner, get ready for the next day, etc. That makes it nearly impossible to stay on track with getting to bed on time.

As a result, the week after the time change is always particularly exhausting for me. My body is struggling to adjust, and it feels like my alarm is going off at 5 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. I’m also getting to bed later, so when those two things are combined, I feel like I’m losing two hours of sleep, not just one. That makes the days feel extra long, as I’m extra tired.

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Paying attention to diet

In addition to paying close attention to my routine and doing my best to shift back my timing as much as possible, I’ve also been extra careful with my diet. Because of my EDS food sensitivities and alpha-gal syndrome, a rare tick-borne disease that makes me reactive to all mammalian-based or derived products, I have to make sure I’m getting enough protein. If I don’t, I feel even more tired.

This week I’ve made sure to have protein with every meal. During the week after daylight saving time, I had homemade muffins made with oatmeal and protein powder, a variety of lunches with plant-based protein, and dinner with either some chicken or a spaghetti that’s fortified with pea protein. I supplement that with healthy snacks throughout the day, such as low-sugar granola and nuts or a homemade granola bar with peanut butter. While it’s not a magic solution, paying extra attention to my protein intake helps me better manage my EDS fatigue.

I know I’ll adjust to the time change within a few weeks, just like I do every year. But those first few weeks can be a real challenge, especially for those with chronic disorders who rely on a schedule. Soon, though, I’m sure I’ll enjoy having the extra daylight after work so I can get chores done before it’s dark!

Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.


Margaret Bowerman avatar

Margaret Bowerman

I have heds with symptomes I feel like ,,,same as Ms,, ,,,,,,,,I understand the fatigue and sleep a hard part ,,,I thankyou for this story
/information, ,, there is much help ,,here and iam very greatful to all many blessings ❤🙏Ⓜ



I hear you. I was a complete hot mess all last week from the time change. No energy to do anything, but I still had to write and do my advocacy work, I was miserable most of the week.

margaret d millar avatar

margaret d millar

I am a 64 year old retired/disabled physician diagnosed age 60.....had anyurisms show up. Somewhere have picked up Lyme, and was swarmed by Lone Star tick nymphs in Southern Iowa last year, was tested for alpha-gal in June......found out a month ago highly positive. No one taught me any of this. Have you had any mri with contrast or had high metal levels? Anyway, love your positivity.

Laurie avatar


Hang in there my friend you have many many zebra friends behind you all the way the fatigue is truly a challenge on everyday life and eds I am totally with ya on that


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