If you are anything like me, you love the time change in the fall when time falls back and you gain an extra hour, but you dread the change in spring, with time spring forward and you lose an hour. Although it is just a mere hour of time, the change seems to really affect you.
Every year when daylight savings time comes around I begin to think about the hour of sleep I will be losing. It becomes this ridiculous conflict within my own head. I sit here agonizing over the hour of sleep I will lose yet I am so happy to have more daylight. Knowing that spring and summer are on the way excites me beyond belief. So why is it with all the positive that comes from the time change do I dread it so much?
I believe it is because I build it up in my mind to be so much worse than it is and I don’t prepare appropriately for it. This year I am going to change my ways and adjust quickly to daylight savings time.
Here is the list of things I am going to do which should allow the time change to go more smoothly:
1) Set clocks forward ahead of time. I was reading that ideally you should set your clocks ahead on Saturday morning rather than Sunday. Do not pay attention to the fact that the clock is an hour off from the “real” time, that will defeat the purpose. The idea is for you to adjust a whole day ahead thus making your Monday morning that much easier. I can see how a whole day in advance would make your Monday morning seem more normal, but if you have things to do and schedules to keep on Saturday, that can be a little hard to accommodate. I think for our family we will set the clocks ahead on Saturday evening. No that is not a whole day of adjusting but if will help us begin to adjust by eating dinner and going to bed at the new time.
2) Wake up at your regular time by setting your alarm. Sunday morning will come early but the quickest way to adjust is just to move forward as if nothing has changed. This one will be the hardest for me, however, as I plan on just mentally preparing myself the night before and not allowing myself to make a big deal out of one hour. I know the weekends are for sleeping in and being a little lazy but one weekend of getting up “early” will not kill anyone.
3) Do not take a nap on Sunday. Again this may be a bit challenging when you are tired from your early morning rise and knowing that your weekend is for relaxing. The point is to adjust to the change quickly and that will not happen if you add extra sleep back in to your day. So if you plan on being adjusted by Monday morning or at least being minimally affected then you cannot take a Sunday snooze.
4) Go to bed at your regular time, even if you are tired earlier or not tired at all. Assuming you are tired earlier than normal you are going to have to push forward and stay up a little bit longer. As hard as it may feel to keep your eyes open find something to busy yourself and last that extra hour. On the other hand if you are wide awake and needing to go to sleep, try relaxing in a warm bath or sitting in a room with the lights dimmed doing something calming.
I am hopeful that these tips will help all of us adjust more quickly to daylight savings time. Personally I am going to control the battle in my mind and overcome my dread of the loss of an hour this year. Spring and summer are almost here and the joy of that greatly outweighs the loss of an hour of sleep.
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