As if this winter hasn’t been brutal enough, in 2 days time we have to set our clocks ahead for daylight-savings time. I swear we just set them back, didn’t we? On the upside, it’ll stay light longer in the evening. On the downside, we all lose an hour of sleep and many people will go back to not only waking before the sun rises, but also driving to work in the dark. More coffee anyone?
Depending on the source, they say it takes anywhere from 1 day to 1 week to feel back to normal after “springing forward.” Why so much discrepancy? Well, it seems that a combination of genetic factors determines your chronotype (whether you’re a night owl or a morning person), and your chronotype determines how well you adjust to the time change.
I’m a bona fide night owl. Left to my own devices it takes me close to a week to adjust to the spring time change, but the morning people I know adjust much more quickly. Of course, there are varying degrees of morning people; some consider 4am a perfectly acceptable time to be getting up whereas others prefer something a little more “reasonable.” (No offense to you 4am’ers but I am a night owl, remember.) There are also varying degrees of night owls. For instance, if I had my druthers I’d go to bed around 1 or 2am; other night owls might prefer either an earlier or later bedtime.
No matter which you are, however, the fact remains that our body clock runs on a cycle that slightly exceeds 24 hours. That means that losing an hour of sleep in the spring is especially hard on us, especially if you don’t get enough sleep to start with.
So with that in mind, here are a few things you can do to help mitigate the stress of springing forward:
I’ve been doing these things for a couple years and they really do cut down on the stress and sleep deprivation associated with Daylight Savings Time. Do you do anything special to make the time change less stressful? If so, please share in the comments below.