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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.