It’s That Time of Year Again: Daylight Savings Time

Who is ready for that precious extra hour of sleep this Sunday? On Sunday, November 5th at 2:00 a.m. all of our phones, laptops, and smart watches will turn back one hour. We will wake up on Sunday morning feeling extra rested. Sounds great, right? Not always. Daylight savings time can have a pretty rough effect on your body.

Before we talk about how you fight the negative effects of DST let’s learn about how it started. Many of us at the office always heard it started to help farmers have more daylight. Contrary to popular belief, farmers were actually against the time change when it was first enacted. Farmers used the sun, not the clocks, to dictate their schedule. Daylight savings time started as a wartime measure in 1918 to reduce the amount of energy used.

In the years following WW1, the time change was had come and gone multiple times due to other wars and overall confusion. Clocks were chaos until the 1966 Uniform Time Act, which standardized daylight savings time. The Uniform Time Act did allow states to opt out and remain on standard time year round. In fact, Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight savings time. ​

With all of the confusion surrounding DST many people do not understand the impact it can have on your body. The change of the time puts stress on your circadian rhythm (aka your internal clock). This can effect your sleep and eating patterns until you can re-adjust.

HOW CAN YOU PREPARE FOR A SMOOTH TRANSITION?

Keep on your regular sleep schedule.

Go to bed and wake up at normal time. This means that you will get an extra hour of sleep. This extra hour is beneficial for us since most do not get enough sleep regularly.

Workout on Sunday.

Fitting in a workout on Sunday will help wear out your body for bedtime that night. Be sure to workout a little earlier in the day. Working out too close to bedtime can raise your body temperature making it hard to fall asleep.

Get outside!

Head outdoors for a morning walk. Getting out in the natural sunlight helps reset your internal clock.

Loose the screens.

Minimize your screen time at night and pick up a book or a board game instead. Bedtime will come an hour earlier than your body is used to so you need to do everything you can to prepare.

Start earlier.

If you, or your child, is someone who has a rough time adjusting to new schedules you may want to start early. If you adjust your schedule by 15 minutes the few nights before the time change your body will adjust much easier.