Spring Forward: A Smooth Transition into Daylight Savings Time

photo by: Kevin Jaako source: Flickr.com

Year to year as spring time starts to creep in, so does daylight savings. This year, that day that we all must turn our clocks ahead in attempts to “spring forward” is on Sunday, March 8th at 2 am.

In regards to why we “must” spring forward, it all started during World War 1 with the German’s using daylight savings time as a way to conserve energy and save fuel. Rather than wasting time sleeping through an hour of sunlight, the Germans felt it necessary to turn the clocks ahead to take advantage of as many daylight hours as possible. The United States followed suit adopting this policy in 1966. One reason today as to why we still must abide by the time change is to save energy and electricity. Although it is widely debatable as to how much energy this is really saving American households, according to the California Energy Commission, moving our clocks ahead one hour significantly decreases the amount of electricity we use in our homes each day.

While some states like Arizona and Hawaii do not have to follow the “spring forward, fall back” mantra, most Americans are forced to deal with it every year.  Though some welcome the change as it brings us closer to warm weather months and offers us an extra hour of sunlight, others find this change annoying, pointless, and disruptive. Properly preparing for the inevitable change that is daylight savings time can help make losing an hour of sleep feel a little bit easier.

Here are some tips toward a smooth transition into the springtime hours:

Take it easy this weekend: Take a break from your regular, thrilling weekend adventures and lay low.  Resting up and making sure you are getting a proper night’s sleep the weekend before daylight savings can help you feel prepared for the lack of sleep that is to come.

Exercise: While having a restful weekend is important, it is also important to exercise. According to WebMD, getting a vigorous exercise in midday can help advance the body clock. Side note: avoid late night exercise as it raises your body temperature and can interfere with your quality of sleep.

Don’t indulge: This means no heavy meals, night caps, or watching movies in bed. All of these things can interfere with or interrupt your sleep patterns making you feel extra tired in the morning.

Start early: Similar to jet lag, the daylight savings time change can take your body a few days to get used to. Taking steps and starting early this week can help you feel fully adjusted come Monday morning. Start by setting your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier or if you have few obligations this weekend, reset your clock on Friday or Saturday.

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