We have officially accomplished the Sunday spring forward for Daylight Saving Time. Now what? If only there was a magic sleep genie who could help us avoid the adjustment period and let us snooze away in a slumber paradise. But alas, we’re responsible for changing the clocks on the microwave and making our own sleep miracles happen. It makes us question, why do I have to make adjustments to my sleep twice a year?
While the idea originally blossomed in the brain of Benjamin Franklin, Daylight Saving really took effect in the United States during WWI in order to ration the usage of coal for heat and light. It allowed people to begin their workdays with the sunrise and head to bed earlier for a more productive workforce. In the 1970’s, they extended the concept through the winter to reduce energy use. If folks got bed earlier, there’s no need for lightbulbs to be on, right? Times have changed. A lot!
The spring time change this past weekend can lead to a rise in stress and loss of sleep, taking away the valuable time for the body to recharge and recover. I don’t know about you, but our biannual time change is slowing draining my energy. It doesn’t look like the tradition is going to stop anytime soon, so how can we keep our sleep on track during the transitions?
Here are some tips to think about now that the clocks have been adjusted.
If you find it hard to adjust to the new time and find yourself lying awake staring at the clock for more than 20 minutes, don’t lay there struggling. Get up and go to another room, do something relaxing to help make yourself sleepy and keep the lights low. Pour yourself a glass of warm milk, read a book, or write down whatever is on your mind to get it out of the stress cycle that’s spinning in your head.
Daylight Saving steals an hour of our mornings and adds it to our evenings, making the mornings darker than most of us prefer. The key to morning success is to add as much sunlight as possible to your day because the body’s internal clock relies on cues from the sun to regulate your natural sleep times. Sunlight has a direct impact on boosting your metabolism and regulating blood pressure and body temp. Adjusting all the clocks in your home and cars may be a chore, but don’t forget to pay attention to your internal clock that may need some maintenance to help you get a good night’s sleep after the time change.
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