It’s that time of year again! It’s time to Spring Forward.
Here are some tips to adapt to Daylight Savings Time. Daylight Savings time marks the time of year where we “spring ahead” one hour. Sunday, March 12th, 2023 marks the start of Daylight Savings Time.
This transition from Standard Time was first enacted to conserve energy and shift the timing of activities to match more daylight during evening hours. This does however impact our circadian system and disrupts our sleep.
The circadian system is a complex coordination of biological rhythms which help our body function. It is influenced by external environmental cues, chief among those, sun rise and sun set.
With the sudden time change, we experience less light in the mornings. As we know from our long winters, waking up in the dark is challenging because our brains think it is still night time and signals our body to keep sleeping. Therefore we start our days feeling groggy and less alert. The extra day light at the end of the day impacts our ability to fall asleep at our normal time as the daylight signals our bodies to stay awake.
To minimize the effects of DST by starting to adjust your sleep cycle a few days early. Try going to sleep 15-20 minutes earlier each night before the time change to give your body the chance to adjust. Adjust other routines by 15-20 minutes each day as well to cue your body. Try going out on Sunday morning to enjoy some sunshine to help regulate sleep and alertness.
The most important thing to consider is how you are feeling while operating machinery or driving on Monday morning after the time change. The best way to combat this is by sticking to your regular bed time on Sunday night to make sure you get adequate sleep before starting your work week on Monday.
Either way, don’t forget to spring your clocks forward an hour on Saturday night, and stay safe!