Adjusting Your Internal Clock to Daylight Savings Time


Some lucky humans don’t have to play this whole “fall backward” and “spring forward” game every year (like Arizona and Hawaii). For the rest of us, it’s a mixed blessing. Falling forward means an extra hour of sleep—definitely a good thing. But “springing back” feels a little like a cruel temporal joke.

As a matter of fact, in the days following the spring transition, car accidents, heart attacks and injuries on the job increase. That one hour of precious lost slumber means something:

Dr. Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute, states:

“It shows the importance of even gaining one hour of sleep. If we can make an effort to get a little more sleep, maybe we can control diseases like heart disease or diabetes or risk of accidents.”

So what can you do to make the adjustment a little smoother?

Dr.Oexman has the following suggestions for the Autumn Daylight Saving transition:

  • Expose yourself to plenty of light. When it starts to get dark out early, turn on the lights around the house, he says, to remind your brain that it’s not quite time for bed. Get outside during the day, maybe during your lunch break, for natural light. If it’s too cold, open your blinds to at least let some sunshine into your home.
  • Exercise late. Typically, experts don’t recommend working out too close to bedtime, but a late-afternoon or early-evening sweat session can help keep you energized during those dreary evenings.
  • Try light therapy. Oexman suggests buying a small box to keep on your desk at the office, or for women to turn one on while putting on makeup in the morning. The gadget mimics natural sunlight, so a regular lamp won’t do the trick.

And for Springing ahead? Go to bed early! There will be plenty of sun and fun 8 hours later for you to frolic in!

Add a little light to a loved one’s day by sending them one of our Daylight Savings Time ecards this March 10th. (It also serves as a great reminder because many of us forget.)


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