Next Sunday morning at 2 am, Daylight Savings Time will end and the clock will move forward an hour. While an extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning sounds great, the time change isn’t all good news. Fortunately, using this next week to prepare can help minimize the downside.
Loss of sleep is common with both the spring and fall time changes. This is because your sleep cycles have to be reset. Sticking to your bedtime on the reset clock helps, but don’t be surprised if you turn into an instant early bird during the week after the time change.
While some people can easily adjust to an hour time change, others may find it more difficult. If you anticipate having a problem, try shifting gradually by staying up 15 minutes later each night in the days before the time change. That way you will have time to make the transition, rather than being hit by it all at once on Sunday night and Monday morning.
Leaving Daylight Savings Time means more hours of darkness and fewer hours of sunlight in the evenings. This can cause several issues:
- By the time you get off work, you may find yourself arriving home after dark. This can be a safety and security issue. Automated lighting set to a timer or the proximity of your phone can help.
- If you’re used to spending time exercising outdoors, you may need to adjust to being active in the dark. Bike lights, reflective clothing and headlamps can help. If this doesn’t work, it may be time to join a gym or invest in a treadmill.
- If the lack of sunlight leaves you feeling depressed, upgrade to some full spectrum lighting in the rooms where you spend the most amount of time. Buy some medium-light plants. If the lighting keeps them healthy, then it will likely be enough for you as well. If your depression persists, make an appointment with your healthcare provider.
Whatever adjustments you make this week, remember that next week isn’t going to be entirely normal. Expect those at work and at home to be a bit more tired and grumpy than usual. Don’t be surprised if you feel the same way. Just be thankful that this only happens twice a year.