Self-Care Sunday: Reset Yourself for Daylight Savings
Today marks the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. It happens every year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you get used to it.
The day after feels off. You may feel sleepy and unmotivated. And hey, that’s okay! Luckily, you have the day to reset and refresh before life hurls you forward into yet another week.
So what exactly is going on? What are a few daylight savings effects? And how can you beat them?
But First, What is Daylight Savings Time?
Daylight Savings Time is the changing of the clocks by an hour. This alteration changes the time the sun rises and sets. In the spring - when Daylight Savings Time begins - the clocks ‘spring’ forward by 1 hour at 2:00 am. In the fall - when Daylight Savings Time ends - the clocks ‘fall’ back by 1 hour at 2:00 am.
Unsurprisingly, the end of Daylight Savings Time is slightly easier than when it starts. Today, you lose an hour. It’s kind of like jet lag. And it absolutely messes with your natural circadian rhythm.
Daylight Savings Effects
Studies have uncovered ill health effects that result in and around the time of Daylight Savings changes.
A Swedish study showed an increased risk in heart attacks in the 3 days following Daylight Savings Time beginning in the spring. An increase in car crashes on the Monday after Daylight Savings Time is attributed to sleep disruptions from this 1 hour change. Research further claims that there are increased worker injuries right after Daylight Savings Time begins - and even a higher rate of miscarriages.
It’s not exactly a mystery as to why the impact is so profound. Sleep is important! And a regular sleep schedule keeps your body in balance and in rhythm. It allows for easy regulation of body processes and functioning.
Before we offer advice on how exactly resetting during this time is possible (it is!), let’s dive a little deeper into the effects that losing 1 hour of sleep can have on certain individuals.
Losing Sleep May Seriously Impact Your Mental Health
You didn’t get a good sleep the night before. You feel groggy, somewhat out of it, and straight up grumpy. Yeah, that’s your mental health talking and your brain wondering what the flip is going on. And your brain isn’t having it. It’s confused. It can’t quite keep up with regulating this sudden change. As a result, your hormones and major neurotransmitters may seriously be thrown out of whack.
In fact, Daylight Savings Time is often considered a contributing factor to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). At least, experts state that they think it can trigger depression. You feel lousy because you didn’t get enough sleep. And if it’s the fall, the days are inevitably getting shorter and darker.
Yet, scientists also suggest it may not solely be a winter thing. The time change in spring and fall is associated with increased suicide rates. It’s safe to say that a lack or change in sleep isn’t correlated with positive changes in your mental health. And you aren’t alone. A lot of people claim they feel exhausted and out of it the days following Daylight Savings Time.
You Lack Focus and Concentration
The days following this change you may experience difficulty concentrating. Go easy on yourself. Consider putting your focus toward uncomplicated tasks that don’t require as much attention. Save the most complicated tasks for later in the week once your body has adjusted.
You May Get Sick
A lack of sleep suppresses the immune system. Essentially, the body does not produce the sufficient amount of cytokines to fight off foreign invaders. Consequently, when you get sick (which you may be more susceptible to during this time), it may take longer to fight off.
How Can You Transition Easier?
Thankfully, this year’s Daylight Savings occurs on Self-Care Sunday - which means it’s time for you to focus on your well-being and your overall health. And while the top tip is to start preparing days ahead of time (such as getting up slightly earlier on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), that ship has unfortunately sailed. So let’s keep moving forward. What will set you up for success from here on out?
Tip #1: Eat a Nutritious Meal Within 1-2 Hour of Waking
Food tells your body it’s time to start the day. It sets off your metabolism - which in turn sets off a variety of processes. Plus, if your body needs anything after losing sleep, it’s the right combination of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
Tip #2: Avoid Naps and Maybe Just Head to Bed Early
If you need to nap, keep it to 20 minutes. That way, it won’t affect your bedtime. If you feel exhausted, plan to call it an early night. Partake in relaxing activities. And don’t plan anything too strenuous today.
Tip #3: Partake in at Least a Little Bit of Exercise
Go for a light and casual walk or bike ride. Do a short yoga routine or stretch session. Just move a little bit. Exercise pumps out endorphins and serotonin - decreasing your risk of feeling down and out.
Tip #4: Limit Your Alcohol and Caffeine Intake Before Bed
Any substance that hinders you sleep probably isn’t a good idea - especially right now when you need it the most.
Tip #5: Remind Yourself Why You Feel the Way You Feel
You’re irritated easily. You’re grumpy. Just keep in mind that it’s likely not from what someone else did or didn’t do. It’s likely because you’re lacking that 1 hour of sleep. Give it a few days before bringing up a problem you have with someone else.
Tip #6: Expose Yourself to Natural Light First Thing This Morning
It helps with your natural circadian rhythm by decreasing levels of melatonin in your body which induces sleep. So open up those curtains! Shine a little light in.
Scientists Say it Takes 1 Day to Adjust to 1 Hour of Sleep Lost
Take today and do just that! Start slow. Move a little. Follow our tips above and get ready for another week. Make this one your best week yet. Plus, Daylight Savings Time means winter is almost over and summer draws closer and closer. The best time of the year is yet to come!
Related Article: Wakey Wakey! Lifehacks to Become a Morning Person