How to outwit spring forward daylight savings so it doesn’t mess you up! In March, the daylight saving time change totally throws my circadian rhythm out of whack. And although you may think an hour shouldn’t make that much difference, it does! And here’s why.
We all have an internal body clock (aka circadian rhythm). This clock tells us when to go to bed, how long to sleep, and when to get up. It’s directly affected by light. In an ideal world, we’d all go to bed when it gets dark, and rise with the sun.
When my husband I go on vacation somewhere gorgeous, like Hawaii, we tend to fall into a more natural circadian rhythm after a few days. It happens naturally because we stop work, stop stress, and do a 75% digital detox (heaven). And as a result, we feel way healthier. I wish I could live this way all the time!
However, I’ve trained myself to be quite good at listening and honoring my body clock, even when not on vacation. But because I’m so in tune with my circadian rhythms, when they are thrown off, it affects me a LOT. Yep, this is why I need to outwit spring forward daylight saving!
I usually wake up at 6:15 am, but the spring forward daylight saving would make this feel (to my body), like 5:15am. This makes a huge difference. This hour when my body is usually getting its last precious hour of deep sleep is rudely interrupted by my alarm. And, even though it’s a Zen alarm clock gentle chime, I don’t like it! And it takes me at least a few days of feeling a bit fuzzy-headed in the mornings before my internal body clock recalibrates.
So, the big question is: why don’t I go to bed an hour earlier to mitigate this? I wish it was that easy! Most of us do best with 7-8 hours of sleep, so it does make sense to get to bed earlier. However, I need a bit of help in getting sleepy enough to want to go to bed an hour earlier. Here’s what I’ve found helpful to outwit the spring forward daylight saving situation.
Bottom line, listen to your body clock and understand that even an hour can disrupt your natural circadian rhythm. Prepare yourself for spring forward daylight saving by making a few simple lifestyle changes, and it might not mess you up.