5 Tips to Adjust to Daylight Savings Time

sleep Nov 01, 2020
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Boss: "You're an hour late!" Guy who is about to invent daylight savings time: "Haven't you heard?"

In some parts of the world, during daylight saving time (DST), clocks are turned ahead one hour, so that the sun rises later in the morning and sets later in the evening.

But this change is reversed in autumn.

Although modern DST has only been used for about 100 years, ancient civilizations are known to have engaged in comparable practices thousands of years ago.

For example, the Roman water clocks used different scales for different months of the year to adjust the daily schedules to the solar time.

If you follow DST, November is the time to "fall back."

This literally means your clock will be adjusted from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Once the clocks are adjusted, sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour earlier than the day before.

There's more light in the morning.

The extra hour on Sunday may make it tempting to sleep in, but that's one of the worst things to do.

Instead, jump back into a schedule quickly.

I also suggest you use a second alarm clock until your body adjusts to the end of Daylight Savings Time.

Are you ready for the annual "hibernation" phase?

Even though setting the clocks back during fall leads to an extra hour of sleep, the added hour of darkness in the evening is harder to handle, according to new research.

In the study, depression cases at psychiatric hospitals in Denmark increased immediately after the transition from daylight saving time.

An analysis of 185,419 severe depression diagnoses from 1995 to 2012 showed an 11% increase during this time period.

The cases dissipated gradually after 10 weeks.

Every year, at exactly the same time, I see a lot of over-40 men and women struggle.

But it doesn't need to be this way.

5 Tips to Adjust to Daylight Savings Time

Many of these tips are great for any time of the year, but pay special attention to days around the clock change.

1. Go to Bed and Get Up at the Same Time

Get at least seven hours of sleep on the days before and after the transition.

You may want to lose weight; however, lack of sleep encourages your body to store fat.

While it’s tempting to stay up a little bit later, it’s best to keep your bed times consistent.

The more you can maintain a healthy sleep schedule, the faster your body will adjust to the time change.

2. Establish a Pre-Bedtime Ritual

When it's time to wind down for bed, you must practice habits that encourage relaxation.

Seems like common sense, yet many over-40 folks continue to do just the opposite.

Things like looking at your phone in bed or watching the nightly news will stimulate your sympathetic nervous system and get you ramped up like a kid on Christmas morning.

But getting super stimulated before bed is a bad idea if a restful night's slumber is your goal.

So slow your body down. An hour before bedtime, put your phone, computer, or tablet away.

Your electronic devices give off high-intensity light, which in turn hinders melatonin, a hormone that triggers sleepiness. The light overstimulates your brain and makes sleep difficult.

Why not turn off the television and pick up a book?

Quit caffeinated beverages four to six hours before you snooze.

And avoid alcohol in the evening too.

For example, don't do workouts within four hours of bedtime because raising your body’s core temperature can make it harder to fall asleep.

Take a warm–not hot–shower. Dim the lights. Relax.

3. Keep Your Meal Times Consistent

On the days around the time change, eat at the same time or even eat a little early.

Your sleep cycle and eating patterns affect each other, so practice portion control.

Also, pair a protein with a vegetable versus a highly processed carbohydrate.

This might seem like good everyday nutrition advice, but it’s even more important during time changes.

Go shop for fish, nuts, and other sources of protein for dinner this week.

4. Get More Sunlight

Every day, go outside and get exposure to morning sunlight.

It's a sign of the times that someone would need a reminder to go outside; however, for many over-40 men and women things get busy and you might forget the basics.

It's especially important to get sun on the Sunday after the time change to help regulate your internal clock.

Shorter daylight hours affects your mood and energy levels, decreasing serotonin.

Make time to take a morning or early afternoon walk outside when the sun is out.

Try using a light therapy box or an alarm light that brightens as you wake up.

5. Nap for 20 Minutes

Some folks may disagree, but if you’re starting to stack up sleepless hours, it’s safer and healthier for you to nap versus continue without sleep.

Make it a short nap (no more than 20 minutes) to restore lost sleep hours; however, do NOT take long naps.

It may help to go outside into the natural sunlight to cue your body and help retrain your inner clock.

If you have a really tough time twice a year when the clocks change, start planning ahead.

Gradually adjust sleep and wake times two to three days before the change by shifting bedtime 15 to 20 minutes each night.

This helps your body make gradual shifts and more slowly adjust.

Here are a few more proven strategies to get better rest.

To your success,

Coach Joe

P.S. I'm in favor of abolishing the time changes. What do you think?

 


 

Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online personal trainer, or you want to visit the best personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.

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