Spring Forward! Adjusting to Daylight Savings Time | RMHP Blog



Keep Your Sleep Schedule On Track This Daylight Saving Time

This year the clock “springs forward” on Sunday March 11, 2018, at 2:00 a.m. The time shift will cost an hour of sleep, but we’ll get something far more valuable in return: extra daylight in the evenings.

Whether you’re a fan of the clock springing forward or not, we’ll all have some adjusting to do. Here’s how to adapt to daylight saving time once again.

Get ready for the time change

Daylight saving time can creep up on us, but the easiest way to cope without negatively impacting your schedule is to simply be aware that change is coming. Remember that it will be darker out in the morning and lighter later into the evening, and think about how this time change has impacted you in the past.

For starters, you know that you’ll lose an hour of sleep the weekend the clocks go forward, so plan accordingly. Going to bed early the night before daylight saving time will make the adjustment a whole lot easier.

Make small adjustments to your sleep schedule

The hardest part of daylight saving time for most of us is waking up in the morning. According to Dr. Tina Waters, it can take a week or more for some people to adjust to the daylight saving time change. She suggests taking action approximately two weeks before springing forward. Try going to bed and waking up 10 to 15 minutes earlier each day to help your body adjust.

While you’re changing your sleep patterns, napping might seem like a good idea, but try to avoid long naps. Sleeping during the day makes it harder to fall asleep at night. A better option is to get outside for some Vitamin D.

Speaking of natural sunlight, your body needs it

Our sleep cycles are sensitive to sunlight, which is why spending time outside during daylight hours can help you adjust to time changes. Aim to get some sun as soon as you can after waking up. Open the curtains at the very least, then try going for a quick walk around the block to wake yourself up.

Take advantage of the lighter evenings

Your sleep schedule is good to go, so now it’s time to think about how you’ll enjoy that extra hour of daylight in the evenings.

It’s common for people to become more sedentary in the winter, especially when it’s dark before you can even make it home from work. Now, it’ll be much easier to go for a bike ride or run after work, take the dog on a hike, or simply sit outside on the back porch taking in the Colorado scenery. There’s no wrong way to enjoy the extra daylight if you’re having fun and being active!