Tips for Adjusting to Daylight Savings Time

It’s been about a week since we’ve set our clocks back an hour to accommodate daylight saving time. Although we’ll be on this schedule until March 2020, many people may still be having trouble adjusting. It’s just an hour, but that’s enough to throw off your internal clock and rhythm. If you’re feeling unusually fatigued and groggy, there are some changes you can make to help you get used to the shift.

Tips for Adjusting to Daylight Savings Time

1. Stick to Your Schedule

While it may seem counterintuitive, don’t change your schedule to accommodate the shift in time. Sticking to your usual schedule will help your body gradually adjust to the time change. Trying to stay awake for an extra hour could be more of a shock to your system than you intend. Therefore, if you usually go to bed at 10 p.m., you should continue doing that. The same goes for the time that you typically wake up. Maintaining a consistent schedule will help automatically regulate your sleep patterns. You’ll feel less groggy and exhausted. In addition, check out these sleep tips:

  • Create an optimal sleep environment with temperature and darkness
  • If it’s helpful, use white noise or other ambient sound devices or apps
  • Make sure that your mattress has your ideal level of firmness
  • Avoid using electronics directly before bed

2. Take In As Much Sunlight As Possible

During this time of year, the average time for sunset is 4:55 p.m. The extended time of darkness has various physiological and psychological impacts. Some people even experience seasonal affective disorder — a type of depression related to the change in the seasons. To combat these effects, try to take in as much sunlight as possible throughout the day. Wrap up and take a quick walk outside during our lunch break. You could also open your blinds and curtains in the morning to start your day with a full dose of sunlight. Here are a few ways you can get more sunlight:

  • Go for a jog or walk (at least 20 minutes)
  • Keep the blinds open in your office space
  • Consider light therapy using a lightbox

3. Rethink Your Evening Routine

Although you’re sticking to your established sleep schedule, it will be helpful to rethink your evening routine. It will help you wind down and settle your body and mind so you can rest. Enjoy your dinnertime, but give your body time to digest before getting into bed. Get into a peaceful rhythm with your body with stretching and meditation. Open up a new book to keep your mind active while saving your eyes from the blue light of electronics. Consider adding these activities to your routine:

  • Take a warm bath a couple of hours before bedtime
  • Start writing in a gratitude journal
  • Spend uninterrupted time with family/children
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