Surviving Daylight Savings Time

There are few days in the calendar year that I despise more than the one coming up on March 11. The day that Daylight Savings Times (DST) begins. Better known as the day we “Spring Forward” and move the clocks ahead one hour, losing one hour of beautiful priceless, sleep. When Daylight Saving time ends in the fall it can be a bit of a nuisance, but in reality you’re gaining an hour so the adjustment is fairly easy.

DST can be tricky business. And according to Wikipedia (which for these purposes suits my need) there are a number of arguments for and against DST: “Proponents of DST generally argue that it saves energy, promotes outdoor leisure activity in the evening, and is therefore good for physical and psychological health, reduces traffic accidents, reduces crime, or is good for business. Groups that tend to support DST are urban workers or professionals, retail businesses, outdoor sports enthusiasts and businesses, tourism operators, and others who benefit from increased light during the evening. Opponents argue that actual energy savings are inconclusive, that DST can disrupt morning activities, and that the act of changing clocks twice a year is economically and socially disruptive and cancels out any benefit. Groups that have tended to oppose DST are farmers, transportation companies, and the indoor entertainment business.”

Though, truth be told, none of that will mean anything to any of us when we have to wake up an hour early that first week or two. In fact for some of us the transition takes even longer. And since the reasons for or against DST really won’t help us any, here are a few tips that will help you stagger through those first few days (or weeks) of DST.

  1. Set Your Clock Back Early – If your schedule permits you to do so, change your clock Friday before you go to bed to give yourself an extra day to get used to the time change.
  2. Bank on Sleep – For the whole week leading up to DST go to bed early. This will help you be rested AND get your body slightly used to going to bed early.
  3. Exercise – Make sure you stick to your regular exercise routine the first week of DST; this can help you combat the groggy feeling.
  4. Skip the Late Afternoon Coffee – Try skipping the late day latte those first few days, so that your body has a better chance at getting to sleep earlier, easier.
  5. Skip The Alcohol Too – Alcohol can wreak havoc on your body clock regardless, but especially when your body is already readjusting to new schedule. So skip the extra glass wine that week.
  6. Don’t Overbook Yourself – If you can, avoid scheduling big meetings or projects for that first week. Try and keep it as simple of a week as possible. Plan a few easy dinners or set aside a few dollars to order pizza once or twice that week. Give yourself a break.

What tips do YOU have for surviving the beginning of DST?