How to Make the Most of Your Day With Daylight Savings Time
  • March 10, 2018
  • Daylight savings time

    In case you’ve forgotten, Daylight Saving Time starts this Sunday, March 11. That means that come 2 am on Sunday morning, we all “spring forward” and set our clocks ahead one hour. The bad news: We all lose one hour of sleep. The good news: We get more daylight.

    With the advance of modern technology, our cell phones and computers automatically shift ahead an hour. Thus, there’s not much of an excuse to be late for work on Monday morning. But just because technology swiftly moves an hour ahead doesn’t mean it comes as easily to our bodies. Even a brief shift in time can be an adjustment.

    “Humans are creatures of habit, despite what your Monday-Friday routine looks like,” Kristin Hoddy, a nutrition researcher and dietician, said. “In fact, there are mini-clocks in nearly every cell in the body that help to regulate our biological rhythms and they use cues from our environment to keep in sync with our master clock located in the brain. Spring[ing] ahead has the potential to throw everything out of whack.”

    Thankfully, Hoddy and a few other sources provided a few tips to make the most out of your day with the switch to Daylight Saving Time.

     

    Change your sleep schedule early

    Since we know Daylight Saving Time is coming, why not get a head start on making the switch?

    Hoddy said that if you modify your schedule correctly, it only takes a day or two for your body to regulate itself.

    “Get a head start on DST by going to bed a little earlier on Saturday and waking up at a set time on Sunday,” she said.

     

    Keep your bedroom cool

    Don’t just hit the hay early and expect to fall asleep instantly. The human body’s temperature naturally falls at night. To ensure you’re not restless, Simplemost.com advises setting your bedroom temp a little lower. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

     

    Eat first thing in the morning

    Hoddy suggested getting some food in your stomach shortly after waking up.

    “This will give your internal clock the cue that your day is starting,” she said. Plus, as she also pointed out in an aSweatLife article last fall, “inconsistent meal times can really throw a wrench into the gears of our biological clocks!”

     

    Start your day with sun and movement

    Like eating breakfast on time, taking these steps help your body know that it’s time to begin a new day, Hoddy said. When you get up on Sunday morning, let the sunlight shine through your windows. Maybe do some yoga or try going for a walk or run. Your body will thank you.

    About Erin Dietsche

    Erin ran track from an early age, but it wasn’t until her parents "forced" her to join her high school cross country team that she fell in love with running. Since then, she’s become an avid runner and learned how to balance her running with her interest in eating chocolate. Erin graduated from the University of Iowa and currently works as a reporter for a healthcare publication. Outside of her job, she enjoys the theatre and writing plays. When she’s not writing, reading or running, Erin likes listening to rap music and playing the piano.