Physical Health, Tips & Techniques, Wellness / Self-Care

How to survive Daylight Savings

We’ve got you.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Dec 13, 2021

Daylight Saving Time started on November 7, 2021 and we’re still trying to get over it. If you’re like us, then read on.

 

The tradition of turning clocks forward in the spring and reverting back to standard time in the fall was initially conceived to maximize natural daylight hours. The United States adopted the technique to save energy during World War I. Even though this is an old tradition, it is still carried out. And there is no doubt that changing the clocks on the walls might cause our body clocks to be thrown off too.

 

Setting the clock back alters your body’s circadian rhythms, which is the physical, mental, and behavioral change in your body that occurs on a 24-hour cycle.

 

Based on cues from the sun, our bodies expect certain things to happen at specific times during the day (including sleeping, waking up, and eating).  Your circadian rhythms are slightly thrown off when you change your routine — even by an hour — similar to the effect of jet lag. As a result, your circadian cycles become somewhat misaligned with the time on the clock, potentially throwing off the timing of various bodily functions like sleep and digestion.

 

So here are 3 ways to survive this change:

 

Maintain good sleep hygiene

Good sleep habits are crucial no matter what time of year it is. If you already have a steady sleep routine, the hour change will have less of an impact on you. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, using your bed only for sleep, avoiding caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, and limiting bright light exposure in the evenings can all help establish a consistent sleep routine.

 

If you maintain a solid routine, your body will find it easier to adjust to daylight savings.

 

Make sure you’re getting natural light in the morning

Natural sunshine is important for mood regulation and sleep-wake cycles. Getting sunshine first thing in the morning helps signal your body that it’s morning and that it’s time to wake up, allowing you to realign your circadian rhythms to the new time.

 

Researchers discovered that each additional hour spent outside during the day was linked to a lower risk of depression, antidepressant use, and bad mood after analyzing data from 400,000 people. More time spent in bright light during the day was also connected to easier morning wake-ups and less fatigue throughout the day.

 

Exposure to light through your windows can also aid, so consider rearranging your workstation if that’s possible. You can also check out these 5 productivity hacks for your WFH routine.

 

Exercise is your saving grace

It is a well-known fact that exercise produces natural feel-good chemicals in your brain that can increase your sense of well-being and help divert you from negative thoughts that can lower your mood. It’s why exercise boosts energy levels, which helps you cope with some of the extra exhaustion you might be experiencing due to the lack of sunlight and new time.

 

Exercise may also help minimize mood swings (and depression symptoms) linked to the changing of seasons and our biological clocks being slightly misaligned. Just keep in mind that exercising too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep.

 

It may be difficult to exercise outdoors in the cold weather so check out these versatile exercises that you can do at your desk.