5 Ways to Spring Forward and Still Feel Great
Daylight Savings Time is coming up fast (Sunday, March 8). From conserving electricity costs to simply having more time to enjoy the sunshine in the evening, there’s a lot to like about this annual occurrence. However, that first week or 2 after “springing forward” can take its toll on your body and have you fighting to stay awake. In fact, studies show a significant increase in fatal traffic accidents and heart attacks the weeks immediately before and after Daylight Savings Time — meaning the increased exhaustion levels are real.
Here are 5 smart ways to start prepping your body (and mind), so you can yawn less and thrive more when Daylight Savings hits:
1. Rise (and Retire) 15 Minutes Earlier Each Day
Starting one week before Daylight Savings begins, go to bed and wake up 10-15 minutes earlier each day. Just that little difference will help your body slowly adjust to the time change.
2. Stick with the Routine
Be ultra-consistent with mealtimes and exercising. The closer you stay to your normal routine, the sooner your body will adjust.
3. Avoid That Oh-So-Tempting Nap
People feel more tired than ever around Daylight Savings — but a long daytime nap can seriously mess with your full night’s sleep. If you absolutely must take a nap, keep it short: 10-20 minutes tops. Any longer and you won’t be tired enough at night to get the full night’s rest you need. You’ll also avoid the dreaded “sleep inertia”: that feeling of grogginess that can take hours to fade.
4. Catch Some Rays
Instead of a nap, why not see if the sun’s out? Daylight is a totally natural way to stimulate your senses and help reset your body clock.
5. Start Your Own Bedtime Ritual
Stay well-rested every month of the year by adopting some smart bedtime rituals to help slow your body down at night. For instance, dim the lights and take a warm bath or shower. Avoid playing on your phone or computer, and turn off the TV, too — the high-intensity light of screen time hinders melatonin, the hormone that triggers sleepiness. Instead, do some light reading or catch up on the day’s events with your family.
Worth the Planning
Surviving Daylight Savings definitely involves a little planning ahead, but the payoff should be well worth the temporary sacrifice. Enjoy rising and thriving!
- Daylight Saving Time:
- Cleveland Clinic, Health Essentials:
- Napping Do’s and Don’ts, Mayo Clinic: