It’s that time of year again. The end of Daylight Saving Time, that is. As we prepare to “fall back” when Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 4, 2018, it can be all too tempting to use that extra hour to get 60 more minutes of sleep. Before doing so, however, be sure you know how to adjust to the time change.
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Here are a few tips to get your body and mind in rhythm at the end of Daylight Saving Time:
1. Change your clocks before bed.
Other than automatic clocks like cell phones, certain types of watches, and newer vehicles, clocks probably won’t set themselves when the time change occurs. It can be helpful to set the clock back an hour before you fall asleep.
I don’t know about you, but when I wake up on that “fall back” Sunday, I tend to look at the clock, read it’s 8am (which is really 7am) and snooze a bit longer. It can be a waste of an hour of the day to sleep in. Get your clock(s) ready before bed so that when you wake up you’re in real time.
Truthfully, your internal clock will adjust on its own once you get used to the time difference.
2. Gradually prepare by going to bed earlier.
Get your body ready by adjusting to the time change before it happens. Consider getting into bed a mere 15 minutes earlier each day and waking up earlier too.
Implementing this pattern into your routine a few days or even a couple weeks before the change occurs can help ready your internal clock so that the change isn’t such a shock to your routine. Take it slowly and listen to your body.
3. Soak up the sun.
Falling back an hour brings us shorter daylight hours. A great way to adjust to this change is by spending as much time outside as possible.
Less time in the sun can interfere with our circadian rhythm, make us moody, and eventually cause winter blues. Get outside to combat any seasonal depression by soaking up that precious Vitamin D, breathing in fresh air, and being active outside.
4. Avoid napping.
If you succumb to taking a nap in the afternoon to catch up on sleep from the time change you’re only going to prolong the adjustment period. Don’t give into the temptation to nap. In lieu of napping, go for a walk, exercise, or get out and about to help reduce that sluggish feeling. If you really have to, take a short nap for 20 minutes or less.
5. Check all clocks and batteries.
Make it a habit to change batteries in your clocks, smoke alarms, and Co2 detectors twice a year: once when Daylight Saving Time begins in the spring and again when it ends in the fall. This is a good habit to ensure all of your clocks, alarms, and detectors are property fueled and working.
Check all of your clocks to make sure they’re adjusted to the correct time as well. Not all watches, alarm clocks, car clocks, or clocks in microwaves and stoves adjust automatically. It is good practice to note all of these things during the time change to make sure everything is on and reflecting the accurate time.
With these tips you should have an easy time getting through your “fall back” checklist. Even though the daylight hours get shorter this time of year, you actually gain an extra hour, which is a plus! Try not to get too moody about or annoyed with the time change on November 4, 2018. It’s all about preparation and with our help, you are now prepared to adapt quickly!
How do you typically prepare for Standard Time? Share your tips in the comments!