Leap into spring as we welcome daylight savings time! Forwarding our clocks entails little efforts; yet transitioning to a new time schedule may require a period of adjustment. Can a change in time influence our work performance and other areas of life? We each have an internal clock known as the circadian rhythm that influences our sleep-wake cycle. Our circadian rhythm determines the time of the day when we are most alert and active, and times when we are more tired and sleepy. The National Institute of General Medical Services (NIGMS) notes, “Circadian rhythms can influence sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, body temperature and other important bodily functions. They have been linked to various sleep disorders, such as insomnia.” There are ways of adjusting to the change in time to prevent abrupt disturbances in our internal biological clocks. Below are some tips on how to transition our internal clocks as we spring into daylight savings time.

Tips for Transitioning Into Daylights Saving Time

1. Plan ahead – Make plans for the week ahead of time. This allows for productive planning and intervention when unexpected circumstances arise, and also allows for transitioning with the new time change.

2. Don’t skip breakfast – It may be tempting to skip breakfast to get the most out of your morning, but this can backfire. A healthy breakfast will keep your mind and body fueled throughout the morning. It’s also wise to keep healthy snacks readily available to give you a boost when energy peaks fall. Some examples of healthy snacks include nuts, yogurts, and fresh fruits.

3. Exercise – Engage in an exercise routine. Studies have shown the benefits of exercise for sleep and stress-reduction. This doesn’t require an enrollment to a fitness program or an intense workout regimen. Some people enjoy brisk walking, yoga, aerobic, tennis, and other forms of exercises. It’s always best to consult with your physician on exercise options that are most adequate for your health needs. 

4. Skip the nap – it may be tempting to take a nap with the new daylight savings time change, but if possible resist the desire. Napping can interfere with the process of developing a new sleep cycle, creating more fatigue and tiredness throughout the day. Usually within a few days your body with adjust to the new time schedule.

5. Establish a bedtime routine – It may require some readjustments and changes in your schedule as you develop a new bedtime routine. Perhaps this means you go to bed an hour earlier, or schedule your appointments an hour later the following morning. Each person’s schedule varies, but the idea is to create a routine so your internal biological clock gets accustomed to a new sleep cycle. It’s best to do tranquil activities before bedtime for relaxation and sleep. 

* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.