We’ve all been late to something thanks to Daylight Saving Time, and the spring forward can also mess with your sleep. This year, prepare yourself now to make up for that lost hour.
Business Insider explains why the effects of Daylight Saving are worse in the spring:
The problems with DST are the worst in the spring, when we’ve all just lost one hour of sleep. The sun rises later, making it more difficult to wake in the morning. This is because we reset our natural clocks using the light. When out of nowhere (at least to our bodies) these cues change, it causes big confusion.
Like anytime you lose sleep, springing forward causes decreases in performance, concentration, and memory common to sleep-deprived individuals, as well as fatigue and daytime sleepiness.
From preparing ahead of time to reconsidering your routine, here’s how you can make up for lost time.
Prepare for the Adjustment Ahead of Time
If your bedroom doesn’t get a lot of early morning light to help you wake up, eat breakfast in a sunny and bright part of your home, or exercise in the morning. You can also wake up easier with a nice cold shower (brrrr). Also, if you can, start now and pretend you’re already an hour ahead in the days leading up to the change.
Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling tired during the adjustment period. If you feel the need to nap over the weekend to make up for lost sleep, take it on saturday afternoon to prevent a groggy Monday. Lastly, you can’t stop working just because you’re feeling sleep deprived, so figure out the best time to work during this transition period.
Get More Done in the Daylight
If you’ve been wanting to get more exercise, use the time change to do so. Since you’ll now have more natural light, plan outdoor activities to get moving. With the start of Daylight Saving comes warmer weather, see if there are any sports recreation leagues or other outdoor exercise groups in your area. Besides improving your health, these are also great ways to meet new people.
You can also use this daylight to train yourself to get up earlier and get stuff done. If you’ve been wanting to form a new habit, now’s the time. If you’re thinking of using the extra time to tackle your to do list, take a look at what’s on it first. If you’ve got items that have been languishing on your list for weeks or months, reconsider if they really need to get done. If they do, take steps to eliminate whatever is causing you to procrastinate so you can clear your to do list.
Review Your Sleep Routine
Evaluate your sleep routine so that you can make the adjustment go more smoothly. Getting good quality sleep is easy if you follow the right steps:
- Conduct a nighttime audit to see where you stand.
- Create your perfect evening routine to make falling asleep easier.
- Upgrade your bedroom to improve the quality of your sleep.
- Make it easier to get up in the morning so your mind doesn’t feel cloudy.
You should also look at places in your daily routine where you can be more efficient and gain time back. You can do this by utilizing your commute time, cutting down on passive activities like watching TV, prepare your meals ahead of time to make cooking quicker, and more.
Double-check Your Home, Devices, and Goals
As long as you you have to change the time on your clocks for Daylight Saving, schedule time to perform other tasks that should take place twice a year. Here’s a list with some examples:
Even if you mainly use your phone as a clock, you should still double-check that it (and your calendar) actually change. In the past, there have been issues with iOS alarm and calendar apps not making the switch on their own. If you have a clock that you don’t remember how to reset, your can search online for help by putting in the type of clock and specific model. As a last ditch effort, you can reset it by unplugging it just before 12:00 and then plugging it back in right at 12:00.
Daylight Saving can put strain on your sleep schedule and daily routine. Consider the above areas to make adjusting much easier and to maximize your time despite the time shift.