Ease into Daylight Saving Time!
Setting your clocks forward one hour on the second Sunday in March ushers in evenings filled with light. But the change can be a little rough on your biological clock. To help you spring into daylight saving time, prepare for the 23-hour day so it doesn’t throw you off for the rest of the week.
Time — 1 to 3 days
Difficulty — Easy
Expertise — None
Frequency — Annually
Where — Most of US
- The weekend of the time change, go to bed half an hour earlier than usual on Friday night and an hour earlier on Saturday night. Then get up a half hour earlier than usual on Saturday morning and an hour earlier on Sunday to spread out your body’s adjustment period over two days instead of having it all hit on Sunday morning.
- Plan Saturday’s activities, including meals, an hour earlier than normal to train your body for the change on Sunday.
- Set the clocks ahead one hour at 6 pm on Saturday afternoon instead of at bedtime to start the adjustment early.
- Set your alarm to wake up at the same time you normally would on Sunday. Whatever you do, don’t sleep in on Sunday morning. Sleeping late just prolongs your body’s adjustment period into Monday, when you have to go back to work.
- If the weather allows, go for a walk or plan some other outdoor activity on Sunday morning. Getting sunlight helps your body adjust and promotes a better night’s sleep Sunday night.
- Avoid the temptation to take a nap on Sunday. Like sleeping in, a nap prolongs the adjustment period and makes it harder to go to sleep on time Sunday night.
- If you have any problems with your heart, get plenty of sleep and limit your stress the week after daylight saving time. A 2008 New England Journal of Medicine study noted a 5 percent increased risk of heart attack during the first three days after the time change.
- On Monday, eat a high-protein diet and limit your caffeine so you can get to sleep on time.
Tips and Warnings
Use the time change as a reminder to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and to test your fuses or circuits.
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