So besides taking care to watch your health and driving, what can you do to make the spring transition easier? Here are five tips to putting a “spring” in your step.
- Go to bed earlier.
Well, that was easy. Just go to bed one hour earlier than you normally would on Saturday, March 7, (the clocks officially change at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8, but we wouldn’t advise you stay up for that, especially if your sleep schedule is an issue). So, presumably if you just went to bed at 10 p.m. rather than 11 p.m. you wouldn’t actually miss an hour.
- Make the change more gradual.
If taking care of that one hour all at once is too much to bear, work into a schedule. For a couple of days before, move your bedtime back 15 minutes and/or wake up 15 minutes earlier to help your body adjust.
- Improve your “sleep hygiene.”
Giving up an hour of sleep is even more painful if you routinely have trouble getting to sleep in the first place. That’s why preparing for great sleep all day (yes!) and executing a solid, relaxing bedtime routine is a must both to ease into Daily Savings Time and, really, all year long.
Among the changes to consider are:
- Getting enough exercise during the day (but not too near bedtime).
- Avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and heavy meals right before bed.
- Leaving electronics out of the bedroom.
- Keeping your room at an ideal temperature and noise level.
- Creating a routine that helps you ease into sleep, such as some yoga stretches and light reading.
- Have a reason to leap out of bed in the morning.
Sorry, folks, it’s going to be a little darker, at least for a while, until the days truly get longer. That makes it more enticing than ever to hit snooze and try to get a bit more shut-eye, but unfortunately, that’s not usually possible when you have a workplace waiting for you.
That’s why a morning routine is just as important as an evening routine. You’ll find it’s easier to get out of bed if your necessities are in place. That means getting your lunch and work clothes prepped the night before. Set the coffee and get your morning fruit chopped and ready. If you’re a morning exerciser, have your clothes at the ready—or, better yet, sleep in them. They should be super comfy, after all.
In addition to making your morning as smooth as possible with ample prep, consider saving a favorite activity for the morning. You might watch an episode of your favorite show while you get ready and eat breakfast (just be careful not to fall into a binge-watching mode!), read a few pages of a great book, have a podcast ready for your commute or have a fun-filled family breakfast which sometimes is easier to coordinate than dinner.
Any incentive to get out of bed—particularly these first few days after the Daylight Savings Time switch when it’s especially dark—can be helpful.
And, if you’re one who’s a chronic snooze alarm pusher, consider putting the alarm across the room. You’ll find that once you’re up and out of bed, it’s just as easy to stay there.
- Enjoy that extra hour in the evening.
The best way to make the most of Daylight Savings Time is to truly make the most of its biggest benefit—that extra hour of sun after work. So don’t squander it by coming home and queuing up a binge-watching session. Instead, make plans that will help you truly embrace the joy of that extra hour. Here are some ideas:
- Take a bike ride (try one of those electric bikes to make it even easier!)
- Take the kids to the park and enjoy a picnic al fresco
- Read outside
- Take your pooch to a dog park
- Go for a run/walk/hike
- Do some errands so that you leave your weekends more free
- Take in a neighborhood baseball game
- Host a spring kick-off happy hour with the neighbors
- Find an outdoor patio for an after-work bite
Just remember to take that feeling of freedom into the summer, to make the most of Daylight Savings Time all the way until November.