Daylight saving time (DST) starts this weekend and jump-starts the natural process of longer daylight hours in the spring and summer. It comes with a bit of a biological hiccup, though.
Although an extra hour of sunshine after you come home from work sounds amazing, it also brings an extra hour of darkness in the morning. This can make waking up early more challenging.
However, we’ve got some hacks you can implement to make it through this transition unscathed.
Wake Up at the Same Time
Keep your waking time the same in the days leading up to Sunday morning and two days after. Even though you “lose” one hour of sleep from Saturday to Sunday, keeping your alarm the same will trick your internal clock. It will think it’s just another day, and not make you feel as if you moved to a different time zone.
Although the view through your window won’t look the same, your body won’t have time to react to the mini jet lag if you continue your regular routine.
Go to Sleep at the Same Time
To really keep things simple for your body, try to keep your bedtime routine the same, as well. One hour less of sleep won’t make much of a difference. However, if you go to bed an hour earlier on Saturday, you’ll likely just end up tossing and turning because your body won’t be ready for it.
Pretend it’s just a normal day and go to bed at the same time you did on Friday. A nice perk about modern tech is almost all our clocks will change automatically. Most smartphones, laptops, TVs, and even microwaves will adjust without our input.
This makes it easier on us. When we wake up, we’ll find everything the same as the day before, and we won’t have to reset a bunch of clocks.
Exercise in the Morning
If it’s harder for you to roll out of bed at your normal wake up time when it’s still dark, sign up for an early morning workout. It can motivate you to get moving.
It might not be easy, but having another reason to get up might be exactly what you need to survive the first few days of the DST adjustment.
See if you can find an energizing or uplifting morning workout class. By the time it’s over, the sun will have risen.
Plan Your Morning
If exercising in the morning isn’t your favorite thing, or you simply don’t have time, you can still plan your morning, so it will be easier to breeze through.
Prepare everything you need the night before. Whether it’s an elaborate breakfast you’ve always wanted to make, a morning show you never get to watch, or a long meditation you usually have to rush through, create a plan and stick to it.
If you do, chances are you won’t even be aware of the time change.
Practice Mindfulness and Gratitude During That Extra Hour
Although it might sound kooky, daylight saving time really means a lot to many people. It makes them feel like their days are longer, and they have more time to tackle their to-do lists. Even though there are still only 24 hours in a day, feeling like there’s more sunshine when it matters can offer a big boost.
So, be mindful that you’re getting more daylight, and it won’t feel like your day is over at 5 p.m. Be grateful that you can experience more natural beauty, and that spring is just around the corner, bringing nicer weather and blooming flowers.
The DST shift happens twice a year, and although the one in November gives us some extra daylight in the morning, it doesn’t feel quite the same. The springtime change, though, marks a new beginning, a new awakening, and new opportunities to make the best use of your time.