See also: TIME explains: Daylight Saving Time (2 min. VIDEO)
How to make the transition to Standard Time as seamless as possible, with some silver linings to the time change:
1) Don’t change your routine on November 1
The night before the time change, just go to bed when you usually do. “Most people are already sleep deprived, so in all likelihood you could use the extra hour of sleep you’ll get”.
2) Use it as a sleep hygiene checkup
You can use the time change to diagnose your sleep habits. Before bedtime, set your clock back an hour (cell phones will be updated automatically at 2am), and keep your alarm set for your regular wake up time. “If you find yourself sleeping for the entire extra hour in the morning, that’s a sign you’re sleep deprived”.
3) After the time change, maximize your sun exposure…
Take advantage of the extra sunlight in the morning, which can give you a mood boost to start the day. If you tend to work out in the evenings, switch your routine to the morning.
4) …and maybe boost your indoor light
If you’re still feeling draggy in the afternoon after a few days, consider investing in a light therapy box, which can counteract your brain’s inclination to start producing melatonin when the sun goes down.
“Blue light mimics sunlight and tells the brain to stop producing melatonin, the chemical that starts your brain’s sleep engine”.
5) And if you have kids…
The downside to falling back is that small children, already allergic to spending extra time in bed, may actually start waking up an hour earlier.
“Starting about a week or so before the time change, every two days put your kids to bed 15 minutes later, in a stair-stepping pattern”.
If you’ve been starting your day in near-total darkness each morning, relief is in sight: November 2 marks the end of Daylight Saving Time (in most of the country) and the day when your clocks “fall back” an hour. That means you’ll get a bonus hour of light in the morning, but lose an hour in the afternoon.
Although the prospect of leaving work when it’s dark out may be depressing, sleep specialist and clinical psychologist Michael Breus, PhD, reminds us to count our blessings. “Believe it or not, people have an easier time adjusting to this time change than to the one in March,” Breus says. “That’s because we gain an hour of sleep in the fall, but end up losing an hour when we ‘spring ahead.’”
Here, how to make the transition to Standard Time as seamless as possible, plus some silver linings to the time change.
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