Although Daylight Savings Time (DST) originated years ago, when the economy was more agriculturally based, it is still practiced today. DST, although only an hour’s change, subtly shakes up our daily routines in many different ways. Most of us are already rushed, with little free time and struggling to keep a work-life balance. There are those of us who revel in our sleep so much that we’re prone to hitting our treasured snooze buttons frequently. For people like us, Daylight Savings Time is an inconvenience, cutting into our precious sleep.
How can people prepare the body for these small, yet noticeable changes in our sleeping schedule? How do you adjust to the time change with minimal grogginess?
Option A: Always Be Prepared
“Always be prepared” is the Boy Scout’s motto for a reason. We can anticipate incoming changes that are known, then become prepared by planning appropriately. If you remember Daylight Savings Time ahead of time, by setting a phone reminder two weeks before, you can begin altering your sleep schedule ahead of time. A person with a rigorous and regular sleep schedule can start going to bed 10-20 minutes later and waking up 10-20 minutes earlier. This way, the change will influence the body more gradually and be less of shock. As a result, you can be the only bright-eyed and chipper person in the office when the time arrives.
If you missed the opportunity for planning ahead this year, then there’s always next year, since DST won’t be going away anytime soon.
Option B: Treat Sleep-Deprivation
Not a person with a regular sleep schedule? Subject to insomnia? Find it impossible to sleep with the added stress of knowing you will lose an hour?
There are many psychological factors that impact one’s sleep patterns. Not everyone sleeps like clockwork, many people cannot juggle the change and their already hectic lives. If you know you will have challenges with waking up earlier, then you can control coping with the symptoms of sleep-deprivation. If you already have trouble sleeping, chances are you have an arsenal of tools that you already use for waking up in a timely fashion.
If you use coffee, say, then you can make sure the coffee machine is filled with water and nearby brew. Or, if you rely on green smoothies, try making one the night before, refrigerating it, and putting it on ice in the morning. Not into either? Maybe, it’s time to try something new. Grab that dusty blender out for a power shake for the train or bus on the way to work. Spruce up your daily routine to maximize sleep!
Option C: The Most Important Meal Of The Day
Growing up, your mother might have repeated that old adage about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. Well, she had a point there. When you lack sleep, your body will need extra replenishment from alternative sources of fuel. It’s important to snack on foods with protein like hearty granola, eggs, or bacon (if you eat meat). You might find that you feel better than you would with a full night’s rest!
Still having trouble adjusting after the latest change?
Fall is settling in, the foliage is changing colors… and you’re finding that you still aren’t quite right from Daylight Savings Time? It’s perfectly normal for our bodies to pick up on the smallest changes that jostle homeostasis, or our body’s natural processes and balance. In fact, we all have different circadian rhythms, or internal biological clocks that trigger when we feel tired or awake. This biological clock exists independently of work schedules and industrial time, so sometimes our body’s signals don’t quite line up with the practice of Daylight Savings. However, by continuing to keep an established sleep schedule, eating breakfast, and planning ahead, your body will adapt and enjoy a healthier you!