Surviving the Daylight Savings Time Change

Did anyone else feel like this last night?  I arrived home from work at 6:15 last night and it felt like it was dark enough to be midnight.  Needless to say, I do not like the time change.  

Tina Good is guest blogging today with a post telling us how to survive the time change.

The main key to successfully surviving the change to Daylight Savings Time is to maintain your normal sleep schedule.  This includes both bedtime and your wakeup time.  Maintaining your regular sleep schedule allows your body to adjust to the change to Daylight Savings Time with little to no fatigue.  It is important to remember that you are essentially getting the same number of hours of sleep, it's just different timing.  Some people adjust well to the fall back change in time because they feel they are gaining an hour sleep of the morning.  However, simply put, if you were going to bed at 9:00 p.m. prior to the change to Daylight Savings Time, then you should continue to go to bed at 9:00 p.m. after the change (even though it is dark earlier).  The same concept is equally as important when it comes to your morning wake-up time.  Do not adjust your wake-up time and cheat your body of the additional hour of morning sleep.   Your body will adjust more quickly to the change in a shorter period of time if you maintain the same number of hours of sleep you were getting prior to the time change.

Studies show anxiety levels increase in many individuals due to the change to Daylight Savings Time.  Increased anxiety can make it more difficult to fall asleep, in addition to the change in time.  It is important not to stress about the time change.  With the change to Daylight Savings Time, if you maintain your normal sleep schedule, your body will still be getting the same number of hours of sleep.  Mood changes are also common with the change to Daylight Savings Time.  The changes in mood could be the result of exposure to less sun during the daylight hours which results in less absorption of Vitamin D.   Studies show Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to symptoms of depression.  Natural light exposure also regulates how and when the sleep inducing substance Melatonin is released from our brain.  By exposing yourself to as much natural light during the day as possible it helps the brain to send important signals which affect your mood, as well as your ability to go to sleep.  Taking a Vitamin D supplement or adding a small dose of Melatonin may help with the initial Daytime Savings Time blues. However, you should always talk to your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.

Some additional tips to alleviate the anxiety induced by the change to Daylight Savings Time include relaxing prior to going to bed.  Relaxation methods vary from reading a book, taking a long bath, to use of natural oils, such as lavender oil, to induce the feeling of relaxation and calmness.  In sum, to successfully survive the change to Daylight Savings Time, stick to your routine, do not stress, and know that the days will begin getting longer less than seven weeks after the start of Daylight Savings Time.


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