It’s no secret that most people aren’t a fan of daylight saving time…no one really wants to give up an hour of precious sleep. The spring forward leaves the majority of us drowsy and grouchy, but it can have other effects that last the whole week long. Losing that hour of sleep actually throws off your circadian rhythm which can influence your sleep, hunger and energy levels the whole week long.
Thankfully there are ways to combat the exhaustion and maybe even make you enjoy daylight saving time a little more. If you follow a few of these suggestions, it’s possible you can escape daylight saving time unscathed.
- Stick to your sleep schedule. People who stick to a certain sleep schedule sleep better and wake up better rested all year long. It makes sense that if you keep your schedule consistent through the time change, you’ll be better able to deal with losing an hour of sleep.
- Exercise. Not only does exercise make you physically healthier, it helps your mental and emotional health as well. When your body as a whole is healthy, you sleep better and adjust to changes in life quicker than those who don’t. It also
- Get enough sleep following the time change. Most people need anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep to be a functional human being. Aim for a consistent amount so that you feel well rested and able to take on your week.
- Soak up some vitamin D. Sunlight can instantly make you feel more energized and awake. Our circadian rhythms follow the daylight, not necessarily the time. So catching some bright afternoon sunlight does a body good.
- Turn off the tech. The false lights from the screen of your television, phone, laptop, and e-reader trick your body into thinking it needs to be awake. So if your default is to spend a significant amount of time using technology right before bed, you’ll have a harder time falling asleep at bedtime. This is a good ‘rule’ to follow all year long, but especially at daylight saving time when we need all the sleep we can get!
- Don’t sleep your day away. Sleeping in late doesn’t necessarily make up for the missed hour of sleep. Instead it messes up your circadian rhythm even more.
Try these six tips and maybe we can all make it through this year’s daylight saving time with a little less yawning and a lot more energy.