March 07, 2016 / James Knowles
Daylight Savings Time is coming up on Sunday, March 13th so it's time to spring forward and revel in that extra hour of sunlight. While more daylight sounds like a fantastic thing, it comes at the expense of losing an hour of sleep which can have unexpected effects on our bodies. In fact, a 2012 study found that there's a 10 percent increase in heart attack risk which is tied to sleep deprivation and a sudden shock to our circadian rhythms. It appears losing that hour of sleep can have much more serious implications than just accidentally hopping in the shower still wearing your underwear on Monday morning. Here's some easy tips to help your body adjust to the time change without too much trouble:
Inch that bedtime back
You can give your body time to adjust by setting your bedtime back by 15 minute increments each night. By Sunday, losing that hour of sleep won’t have a drastic effect on your sleep schedule and you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed.
Get up and get out
Rather than repeatedly snoozing through your mornings, get up as soon as the alarm goes off and open up those curtains to let the sunlight in. Sunlight acts as a natural cue to your body to stop producing melatonin, start waking up and help you feel more awake.
A quick nap to catch up
If you’re feeling like you just can’t get your energy back, a quick nap might just be the ticket. Just make sure not to nap too late or it will hurt your sleep schedule more than it will help!
For the first few days after the time change, make sure to remain alert as your go about your day. Studies have shown an increase in car accidents and workplace accidents for the first few days following Daylight Savings due to sleep deprivation, so be careful out there.
Take Advantage of that extra sunlight
While you might be feeling groggy at the end of a long work day, don’t under-estimate the power of getting outside and soaking up some extra daylight. Get out and take advantage of the extra day light by going for a walk, bike ride or a quick run around the neighborhood to boost your energy levels and feel more awake.