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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Daylight Savings - I'll Take it!

Daylight Savings time is one of my favorite times of the year.  It  means the end of cold weather and Spring is springing.  The downside is that my internal clock gets all messed up for about a week!  Here is what I found in researching how to adjust.

How to Cope with Daylight Savings Time

It’s that time of year again – Daylight Savings Time. You will set your clock forward one hour before you go to sleep, which means one less hour of sleep. Daylight savings time starts at 2 a.m. Sunday. Remember – you “spring forward” one hour.
For most workers, this time shift is rough and it causes weeks of sleep deprivation. You are probably going to be moodier than usual, and your productivity may suffer.
Daylight Savings Time, or DST for short, causes you to lose one hour of sleep, but at least it’s a sign that spring and summer are on its way. Winter is on its way out the door! The days are getting longer, which means we’ll have more sunlight at the end of the day. It’s always nice to drive home when it’s still sunny outside!
Still . . . Having to wake up an hour earlier is rough.
So how can you cope with Daylight Savings Time? Consider these helpful tips to help you survive the time change.
Changing Your Clocks Ahead of Time. Daylight savings time doesn’t officially start into the early hours of Sunday morning. You can prepare yourself for the time change by setting your clock forward one hour on Friday night. (Obviously, if you have plans on Saturday, you’ll want to remember that you changed your clocks early.)
After you set your clock forward, you’ll want to set your alarm clock for your regular waking time. Try to eat all your meals and go to bed at the time you normally do. By the time Monday morning rolls around, you might feel more adjusted. It won’t be as jarring and exhausting as it normally does.
Avoid Long Naps. If you love taking long naps later in the day, avoid it. Take a shorter, 20-minute catnap instead. Long naps can make it harder for you to sleep through the night. If you start to feel tired, why not take a short, brisk walk outside? Exercise releases the serotonin, a brain chemical that helps your body adjust to the time change.
Don’t Drink Alcohol. Say no to the nightcap. Alcohol interferes with regular sleep cycles, and it can hinder the quality of sleep.
No Eating Before Bed. Make sure that everything is well digested in your stomach before you to go bed. Don’t eat before you go to sleep. Have dinner earlier in the evening. A heavy meal in your stomach can interfere with the quality of your sleep.
Open the Blinds Before You Go to Sleep. Having more light in your bedroom may help your body better adjust to the new time change. Open the window blinds before you go to bed, and in the morning, you may be pleasantly awoken by bright rays of sunshine.
Go to Bed an Hour Earlier. This is common sense. Try to go to bed an hour earlier, so you can still get the same hours of sleep you normally do.
Don’t Drink Caffeine in the Afternoon. Everyone needs a cup of java to keep going in the morning, especially on Monday when you have to go back to work. But avoid drinking coffee in the afternoon, because it can make it harder for you to fall asleep that night.
Chances are, you will just have to cope. You will lose sleep, and you’ll be exhausted. You’ll deal and get used to it.
Of course, some of the strategies we'll have to look up for next time or in November,  and some are just CRAZY (i.e., the alcohol one) but I'll keep DST!

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