Twice a year, people everywhere are faced with the same challenge—adjusting to the dreaded Daylight Saving time change. Unless you live in Saskatchewan, Arizona or Hawaii, your life is about to be disrupted yet again.
It really is a funny thing, the time change. An hour doesn’t seem like much, but it most certainly is if you are a person who lives on a regular, unchanging schedule. If you are someone who goes to bed and wakes up at the same time day after day, gaining or losing an hour is just enough to throw things off.
A little history: Benjamin Franklin first suggested the idea back in 1784. It was offered as an idea on how to economize the sunlight and burn fewer candles during winter mornings and nights. But it wasn’t until 1966 that the clock change became official in the US. To be honest, the whole thing is a little confusing and every year, there are plenty of debates on whether the world needs the extra hassle.
That said, if you find yourself having a tough time adjusting, here are a few suggestions to make the transition easier.
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If you find the sudden hour switch too much to handle, try easing yourself into it. Adjust your sleep schedule by 15 minutes per week for the month prior to the actual change so that you’ll be ready to go when the jump happens.
Keep Your Rituals
Whether it’s having a cup of tea and reading before bed or having a bath, a routine signals that to your brain that it’s time to start shutting down for sleep. So even if there is a time change, if you follow the same behaviours, your brain will release the sleep chemicals needed to fall asleep.
It’s common advice for people adjust after jet lag, don’t nap if you’re feeling tired from the time change. While naps can be great and beneficial at times, it can make it worse when you’re adjusting from Daylight Saving. Long naps will throw the schedule off even more so instead of napping, try going for a walk or doing an activity that will help keep you awake until it’s time for a proper sleep.
Not to coffee or alcohol as they will keep you awake and confuse your body, but instead to a nice bath or cup of tea. Use Daylight Saving as a reason to have a nice evening wind-down. Do some pampering, give yourself a facial and hair treatment. Put the screens away for a few hours and let your body naturally adjust to the new time. This isn’t scientific or anything, but it’s a really good excuse to have a evening where you just relax and take care of yourself.
Every year following Daylight Saving Time, there are reports of increases in car accidents, loss of productivity at work, lack of concentration and focus, irritability and on and on. Whether these things are linked or not is difficult to confirm.
So why not use Daylight Saving time to give yourself a break and take good care of yourself? We could all use a reason to relax a little more.