Daylight Saving Time is this Sunday, and most people in the United States (minus those in Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, a handful of US islands) will turn their clocks forward one hour. This is good news. It means we're on the cusp of longer and lighter days as spring approaches. The bad news? We're going to have to sacrifice an hour of sleep for it.
As far as health concerns are related, losing an hour may not seem like such a big deal. We'll just compensate with an extra shot of espresso, right? We were surprised to learn though that Daylight Saving can, in fact, be hard on our health, even if in small ways.
Brian Resnick, in his article published on Vox, claims, "One hour of lost sleep sounds like a small change, but we humans are fragile, sensitive animals. Small disruptions in our sleep have been shown to alter basic indicators of our health and dull our mental edge."
He goes on to explain that, "when our biological clocks are off, everything about us is out of sync. Our bodies run this tight schedule to try to keep up with our actions."
Thankfully there are actions we can take to soften the blow (so to speak) of losing out on an hour of rest this weekend. For starters, we can go to bed one hour earlier beginning tonight--a small act, this will prepare our bodies for the shift in time on Sunday at 2 am.
We can also take advantage of the weekend hours. Thankfully most of us don't have to be at our desk on Sunday morning, so if you find yourself needing a catnap during the day the recoup, take advantage of it.
Moreover, you can help your body adjust to Daylight Saving Time by strictly adhering to your evening routine in the coming week. That means turning off electronics at least one hour before bed, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and unwinding in the final hours of the day with a book, a bath, or anything to help induce slumber. Check out our sleep tips for further suggestions.
Finally, be kind to your body as it adjusts to this small (but still shocking) change. If you're feeling extra tired, you're not alone. Remember that your body will adapt soon. This change ultimately means warmer and longer days are just around the corner.