Daylight saving was established in the United States in 1918 to save energy and experience more daylight during waking hours. Today, it has become more controversial as it no longer saves energy, potentially detrimentally impacts health and productivity, and some states, including Arizona, already do not observe the tradition (Blakemore, 2018).
Adjusting to daylight saving is more than just updating the time on a clock. As we all “spring forward,” we are consequently faced with the loss of one hour of sleep and its ramifications. Sleep deprivation from daylight saving may lead to oversleeping, feeling sluggish or drowsy, missing time at work, decreased productivity, missing important appointments, among other things. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure the transition goes smoothly.
- Utilize the Sunday of the time change to adjust for Monday’s schedule by waking up as you would on Monday. For example, if you intend to wake up at 6 am on Monday, plan to wake up at 6 am on Sunday. Although you may be sleepy on Sunday, you will be better prepared for an early bedtime and a more productive Monday! Remember, this will only be effective if naps are avoided (Caruso, 2016).
- An alternative option would be to move the time you wake up and have your meals by about 15 minutes per day for the three days leading up to the time change. The more gradual change allows time for your body’s schedule to adjust.
- Go to sleep an hour earlier than normal on Sunday. This can be difficult for many but try dimming the lights and avoiding electronics an hour earlier. These methods allow your body to start producing the sleep hormone, melatonin (Lanzito, 2017).
Effectively incorporating strategies to cope with daylight saving is important for productivity and improved overall health.