Spring is here and recently we set our clocks one hour forward, resulting in an hour less sleep. I don’t know about you but it seems like it takes me days, if not weeks, to get adjusted to the time shift from standard to daylight saving time.
Unfortunately, the impact of Daylight Saving Time on the body might be harmful in certain instances. However, there are certain things you can do to prepare for the significant changes that occur each year. They may even have a beneficial influence on your overall health and well-being.
Change Your Bedtime
While this won’t help you right now, the week before the next Daylight Saving Time, try to get to bed a few minutes earlier than usual every night. This is one way that you won't have to worry about missing out on that additional hour. You have already started to prepare your body for the change. A slow transition will have big rewards.
Nap More Often
In the days after the time change, you may find that you are too fatigued to function properly due to the fact that you were unable to plan ahead a week. If you can, try to sneak in a 10-15 minute nap in your day until you feel like your body has adjusted to the change in time. However, you should avoid staying in bed for long periods of time. Aim for a 20- to 30-minute snooze to get you through the day.
Watch What You Eat
Did you know that our sleep cycle and eating routines are intertwined and have an impact on one another? They absolutely do. It is a good idea to try not to overindulge yourself. With carbs. Instead, aim to consume more protein rather than those carbs. Shop for fish, almonds, and other sources of protein for supper this week when you're out. While this may seem like common sense advice, it is especially vital during time changes.
Go Outside More
Getting your body clock in sync with the sun may be as simple as going outside and enjoying the sunshine. Even just twenty minutes of sunshine in the morning may help your body wake up and prepare for the day ahead by helping it to recharge. The reduction in daylight hours has an effect on our mood and energy levels via reducing serotonin levels. Plus, the time change gives us all the ability to enjoy the day for a longer length of time.
Lifestyle choices, such as getting your cholesterol and blood pressure tested regularly throughout the year and keeping healthy eating and sleeping practices, may assist your body when the time comes to transition into a new season. Springing forward, despite the inconvenience of losing an hour of sleep, marks the start of a new season, longer evenings, and weather that is more enjoyable. I think we can all be thankful for that.
Misty Roussa is a Louisiana native who lives with her husband and two children. She has contributed to Red Stick Mom, The CF Foundation, and Cystic-Fibrosis.com. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading, listening to podcasts, or trying to cook something her family will enjoy.