Prepare Your Body and Mind for Daylight Saving Time
By Megan Morrow
Published March 8, 2018
A tradition originally initiated by Benjamin Franklin to conserve energy, Daylight Saving Time begins afresh on March 11, when we set our clocks forward one hour and welcome more daylight. For many Americans, however, losing this hour of sleep is a struggle that takes several days from which to recover. Likewise, parents of small children often cringe when they see a notice of the next time change, knowing that their lives will be impacted for a week or more.
If spring Daylight Saving Time typically throws you off your schedule, you can prepare ahead of time for a smoother transition into spring:
- Set the stage. Four or five days ahead of time, plan to go to bed 10 or 15 minutes earlier than usual and set your alarm ahead by the same increment. A slow change is much easier for the body and the mind to manage.
- Bathe in the light. Sunlight helps advance the body’s natural clock, so spending time in natural light can help with this transition, not to mention that the sun can be energizing for the body and encouraging for the spirit. Avoid unnatural light from screens and devices at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime since this can make it harder to get to sleep.
- Exercise at the right time. Even if an evening stroll or Pilates class is part of your regular routine, try to exercise earlier in the day as Daylight Saving Time approaches. Morning or mid-day exercise will not interfere with sleep and can provide an energy burst if you have had a shorter-than-usual night’s sleep.
- Avoid sleep-disturbing substances. Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol can all disrupt sleep in different ways; do your best to curb their intake or limit coffee to one drink in the morning or alcohol to one drink in the early evening. A heavy meal can also make it harder to fall asleep so plan a few lighter options for dinner.
- Create a calm nighttime routine. If your evenings are often a whirlwind of activity, do your best to invite a calmer environment this week. Stop working at least one hour before bedtime, and consider reading, writing, stretching or a phone call with a favorite friend instead.
- If you live with small children, make naps a priority. Children do not understand the shifts in schedule twice a year and it can wreak havoc on their naptime and nighttime routines. If your children or grandchildren are taking high-quality naps, that can help with the disruption. Otherwise, follow the tips above regarding a gradual shift and natural light, and ensure that their bedrooms are very dark, especially as morning light creeps in earlier.
Some people are eager to spring forward in order to enjoy longer days while others lament the loss of sleep for weeks. Regardless, a few simple steps can help you prepare your mind and your body ahead of time to make this transition a little easier than usual. And, you only have to wait until Nov. 4 to recoup that hour of sleep!
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The material presented here is for information purposes only and is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell any security. This report was prepared from sources believed to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and it is not a complete summary of statement of all available data. Information and opinions are current up to the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The purchase and sale of securities should be conducted on an individual basis considering the risk tolerance and investment objective of each investor and with the advice and counsel of a professional advisor.
The opinions expressed by Ms. Morrow are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc. or their affiliates. This is not a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any particular investment. All investment involves risk and may result in a loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider their own circumstances before making any investment decision.