Spring it On! 5 Ways to Make Daylight Savings Time Easier to Handle

I’m a morning person and have written about productive morning routines and shared my tips for getting out the door with less stress in the past. But this morning, Sunday, was tough for me, and the entire household. My son had an 8am swim practice and everyone was slow to move. Nobody, except for the clocks, was “springing” forward and the double dose of caffeine was in order. Daylight Savings Time is obviously scheduled on a Sunday, because it would be a disaster if we got hit with it on a Monday morning. Research shows an increase in car accidents the Monday after Daylight Savings time, because our already sleep-deprived country is less alert. So, while we will still feel the time change this week (similar to a jet lag), below are some tips that should help make the time change a little more manageable.

1) Prepare Yourself with an Earlier Bedtime. You may not feel tired at night but try to schedule an earlier bedtime this week. It will help if you begin the routine of brushing your teeth, washing your face, powering down, or whatever sleep routines you have earlier than normal. Use this week as a challenge to get more sleep and maybe even begin some new sleep routines that will benefit in the long run.

2) Don’t Snooze, Rather wake 15 Minutes Earlier. It sounds crazy but give yourself some wiggle room this week for the morning time. Almost everyone will be dragging into the office this week so give your self some extra time to do your morning routines and not feel rushed. The same goes for how you approach getting your kids ready for school. That little extra window of time will make the morning less hectic. Just please don’t “snooze,” as this will keep your body from adapting to the time change.

3) Ask for or Give a Little Leniency this Week. If your boss is flexible, ask if you can come in a little later for a couple days so you can take the time to happily ease into the time change, avoid starting the morning on a stressful note and avoid the sleep-deprived and frustrated commuters at rush hour. If you lead a team or company, have a little compassion. Offer your team a slightly later start to the morning in exchange for meeting a specific deadline that week or having them agree to 15–30 minutes of fresh air in the middle of the day. Happy employees = productive employees.

4) Keep Active and Keep Moving. I personally need my morning workouts as they help get my body, brain and soul moving and kickstart my day. But if exercising first thing in the morning isn’t your cup of joe, plan to get outside or move every day this week, even if just a brisk mid morning or lunchtime walk (or even a ‘sweatwork’ walk meeting), which will energize all parties involved and help everyone ease into a better night of sleep. Just don’t walk too close to your bedtime.

5) Go Easy on the Caffeine. Even I, who doesn’t need caffeine to get going, made a caffeinated latte this morning. What does this mean? That most people will be doubling and even tripling up their coffee and green tea this week just to survive. But don’t overdo it. Too much caffeine will make you crash, so aim to stop drinking caffeine after 2pm, or whatever works for you, and in particular for this week, plan to ease up on alcohol intake as alcohol can interfere with a good night’s sleep.

Use Daylight Savings Time week as a time to focus on sleep and evaluate your sleep habits, alongside your sleep environment (such as a cool room) and ensure that you’re sleeping on a good mattress and have good pillows. So, ‘Spring It On’ this week, don’t be too hard on yourself and you should hope to feel that good long nights of sleep will yield a clear head in the morning and a health and happiness boost.

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