I’ve spent my life cursing Benjamin Franklin for losing an hour of sleep every spring! Turns out, Ben only suggested that Parisians change their sleep schedules in the spring to save money on candles and lamp oil. Sorry Ben – my bad for misunderstanding! Not surprising, the first instance of using daylight saving time came about during a time of war. The US first instituted daylight savings time to save energy as part of the war effort during WWI and re-instituted it during WWII. Hawaii and Arizona are the only two US states that don’t observe daylight savings times currently.
One hour shouldn’t make a big difference, should it? Trying wake up an hour early tomorrow, and you may see just how difficult it can feel. For some people, the time makes them feel groggy or “off” all day long. Furthermore, it is not just feelings – “Fatal car accidents in the United States spike by 6% during the workweek following the spring forward to daylight saving time, resulting in about 28 additional deaths each year”, according to a University of Colorado Boulder research study. Jan 30, 2020. The takeaway – one hour can make a significant difference. For travelers, common wisdom is that it takes one day to adjust for each hour of time zone change. We suggest applying that same wisdom to Daylight Savings Time.
On the business front – communicate! (Business 101, right?)
- Add a note to your emails a week ahead of time with an FYI, especially meeting requests, “Remember Daylight Savings time starts Sunday, March 13. 2022.”
- If possible, move standing meetings, or schedule new meetings to occur on Tuesday. If the meetings must happen on Monday, hold them after 10 AM. Helping people adjust to the time change could make for more alert and happier attendees!
…on Saturday, start by waking up 1 hour earlier, and going to bed/sleep 1/2 to 1 hour earlier
On the personal front adjust a day earlier.
- Adjusting to the time change on Saturday, will make Sunday easier. Monday will then be more likely to feel like a normal day.
- On Saturday, start by waking up 1 hour earlier, and going to bed/sleep 1/2 to 1 hour earlier.
- Preparation doesn’t have to feel like a burden – turn it into a treat! Plan an early outing on Saturday morning and make it an active choice – a hike, bike ride, or a long walk. Go out to breakfast and visit the local Farmers’ Market. Make a choice that keeps you and/or the family active. It may help you to get sleepy early or fall asleep faster. Make sure it’s not so much exercise that you want to nap! A nap will undo the impact of getting up early! Darn it!
- On Sunday, get up at your normal time. If you get up at 7 AM normally on a Monday, get up at 7 AM Daylight Savings Time on Sunday.
- Get to sleep early on Sunday. Here’s some tricks to make that easier:
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol 6 hours prior to bedtime. Coffee or alcoholic treats can interfere with your sleep.
- Sleep is more likely to happen when your core body temperature is slightly lower. Set the thermostat to a temperature of 66 approximately two hours before bed time.
- Close those curtains, drapes, and blinds at the same time to darken your home’s interior.
These few small changes and a little planning can help you and your family adjust to the spring time change. You can then sit back and appreciate the extra sunlight! Enjoy!
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