As the days grow shorter and the nights longer, we find ourselves on the cusp of bidding farewell to daylight savings time. This biannual tradition, where we adjust our clocks forward or backward, has a profound impact on our daily lives. In this blog post, we will delve into the history of daylight savings, explore its effects on our sleep and circadian rhythm, and provide valuable tips on how to smoothly transition into this time change. In 2023, the clocks will be changed back on November 5th.
The History of Daylight Savings:
Daylight savings time was first introduced during World War I as a means to conserve energy. By adjusting the clocks forward in the spring, we maximize daylight during the evening hours, reducing the need for artificial lighting. However, the practice has evolved over time, with different countries adopting varying start and end dates.
Effects on Sleep and Circadian Rhythm:
The end of daylight savings time can disrupt our sleep patterns and circadian rhythm. Suddenly, we find ourselves waking up in darkness and experiencing earlier sunsets. This shift in natural light exposure can confuse our internal body clock, leading to difficulties falling asleep and waking up. The abrupt change can leave us feeling groggy, fatigued, and even affect our mood and productivity.
Tips for Adjusting to the Change:
1. Gradual Transition: In the days leading up to November 5th, gradually adjust your sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up 15 minutes earlier each day. This will help your body adapt to the new time gradually.
2. Optimize Your Sleep Environment: Create a sleep-friendly environment by ensuring your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. Consider using blackout curtains to block out any excess light that may disrupt your sleep.
3. Establish a Bedtime Routine: Engage in relaxing activities before bed, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath. Establishing a consistent bedtime routine signals to your body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
4. Limit Exposure to Blue Light: Avoid electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, before bed. The blue light emitted by these devices can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.
5. Embrace Natural Light: Expose yourself to natural light during the day, especially in the morning. This helps regulate your circadian rhythm and promotes alertness during the day while aiding in better sleep at night.
As we approach November 5th, the end of daylight savings time, it's essential to acknowledge the impact it has on our sleep and overall well-being. By understanding the history behind this tradition and implementing practical tips for adjusting to the time change, we can navigate this transition with ease. Embrace the opportunity to prioritize your sleep and health, and let the end of daylight savings be a catalyst for positive change in your daily routine.
Damian Solorzano is Health and Wellness Influencer, Respiratory Specialist and Health Coach who is passionate about optimizing personal health.