Ways to Spring Forward When the Time Changes

 

Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend, which means that everyone will be losing an hour of sleep. Logically, this doesn't seem like a big deal; all you need to do is set your clocks ahead one hour. Physically, this could hit you harder than you realize.

Depending on how well you sleep and what you do for your job, that one hour of sleep that you are losing could make a big difference in how well you function. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help yourself spring forward and get used to Daylight Savings Time sooner rather than later.

Start Early

Part of the reason why Daylight Savings Time hits people so hard is because they aren't ready for it. They set their clocks an hour ahead the night before, but they don't go to bed any earlier than they usually do. This translates to staying up an extra hour, which can mean the difference between a good night's sleep and being exhausted the following morning.

To lessen the effects of that one lost hour of sleep, try to adjust your schedule before the Sunday time change. Go to bed an hour early on Friday and Saturday, eat dinner an hour earlier, and otherwise behave like you have one less hour of your day. This won't guarantee that you will be bright and alert on Monday morning, but it will make the transition easier.

Avoid Alcohol Before Bedtime

Contrary to popular belief, alcohol before bed won't help you sleep easier. It might help you fall asleep faster at first, but you will probably wake up in the middle of the night once the effects of the alcohol start to wear off. It disrupts your sleep pattern, which can be disastrous if you're already not getting as much sleep as you're used to.

Exercise More

Exercise releases serotonin, a chemical that will help your body adjust to the time change. A morning workout would be ideal, even if you're just taking a walk. Try to avoid exercising too close to bedtime, though. The effects will keep you awake instead of helping you fall asleep.

Get Some More Sun

Getting enough sunlight will help reset your circadian rhythm so you can fall asleep when you want to. Open up your shades and curtains in the morning to let some light into your home, and try to spend as much time outside as you can. Once the evening rolls around, dim the lights and close the blinds to signal your brain that it is almost time to go to sleep. Light - or a lack of it - is a far better indicator to your body that you should be awake or asleep than an alarm clock will ever be. Use it to your advantage.

 

Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend, which means that everyone will be losing an hour of sleep. Logically, this doesn't seem like a big deal; all you need to do is set your clocks ahead one hour. Physically, this could hit you harder than you realize.

Depending on how well you sleep and what you do for your job, that one hour of sleep that you are losing could make a big difference in how well you function.


Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help yourself spring forward and get used to Daylight Savings Time sooner rather than later.

Start Early

Part of the reason why Daylight Savings Time hits people so hard is because they aren't ready for it. They set their clocks an hour ahead the night before, but they don't go to bed any earlier than they usually do. This translates to staying up an extra hour, which can mean the difference between a good night's sleep and being exhausted the following morning.

To lessen the effects of that one lost hour of sleep, try to adjust your schedule before the Sunday time change. Go to bed an hour early on Friday and Saturday, eat dinner an hour earlier, and otherwise behave like you have one less hour of your day. This won't guarantee that you will be bright and alert on Monday morning, but it will make the transition easier.

Avoid Alcohol Before Bedtime

Contrary to popular belief, alcohol before bed won't help you sleep easier. It might help you fall asleep faster at first, but you will probably wake up in the middle of the night once the effects of the alcohol start to wear off. It disrupts your sleep pattern, which can be disastrous if you're already not getting as much sleep as you're used to.

Exercise More

Exercise releases serotonin, a chemical that will help your body adjust to the time change. A morning workout would be ideal, even if you're just taking a walk. Try to avoid exercising too close to bedtime, though. The effects will keep you awake instead of helping you fall asleep.

Get Some More Sun

Getting enough sunlight will help reset your circadian rhythm so you can fall asleep when you want to. Open up your shades and curtains in the morning to let some light into your home, and try to spend as much time outside as you can. Once the evening rolls around, dim the lights and close the blinds to signal your brain that it is almost time to go to sleep. Light - or a lack of it - is a far better indicator to your body that you should be awake or asleep than an alarm clock will ever be. Use it to your advantage.