5 Hacks To Help You Survive This Year’s Daylight Saving Time

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Ready or not, here it comes. Daylight Saving Time begins Mar. 10 at 2 a.m. your local time, and there's no way around the fact that you're going to lose an hour of sleep when you spring forward. Fortunately, there are some hacks for Daylight Saving Time that can make it less awful. If you think losing one measly hour of sleep won't affect you, the truth is that it messes with almost everyone. "Our circadian clock gets disregulated or thrown off, which affects how we feel, think, etc.," Beth Malow, M.D., M.S., professor of neurology and pediatrics and director, Sleep Disorders Division, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told NBC News.

She added that younger people tend to adapt better (yay, youth is on your side) to the time change than older folks, and the effects of Daylight Saving Time are similar to those of jet lag. So, if traveling to a different time zone messes you up, spring forward will likely do the same. "In the week following Daylight Saving Time, some people may be desperate to gain back that lost hour by taking a nap," Dr. Mia Finkelston, a board-certified family physician who treats patients via telehealth app LiveHealth Online, tells Bustle. "However, instead of making you feel better, this will often further disrupt your sleep schedule and make it harder to adjust to the time change. Avoid the urge to nap and your circadian rhythm will thank you later." While there's no way around feeling a little sleep deprived next week, there are some things you can do now to minimize the effects of spring forward.


Take It Easy On Saturday

Haven't seen Abducted In Plain Sight yet? Want to rewatch your favorite episodes of Gilmore Girls? The Saturday before spring forward is an ideal time to do this, just make sure to power down at least an hour before bed. While you might be tempted go out and have a few drinks, it's best to abstain from alcohol and late-in-the-day caffeine drinks. Alcohol and caffeine disrupt sleep, and since you're already losing an hour, you probably don't want to make it worse. If you already have something planned for tomorrow night that you're not super into, use Daylight Saving Time as an excuse to cancel. If you decide to go out and live it up anyway, don't be surprised if you spend all of next week looking like an extra from The Walking Dead.


Don't Sleep In On Sunday

Recent reports reveal that you really can't catch up on rest by sleeping in on weekends. The same is true for Daylight Saving Time. Sure it's tempting to make up for that lost hour by sleeping an hour later, but it can actually do more harm than good. "Going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time each day is a helpful strategy year-round. However, it can be even more beneficial during Daylight Saving Time," the University of Colorado, Boulder, reported on its CU Boulder Today blog.


Limit Your Screen Time On Saturday Night

While it's always a good idea to power down your devices at least an hour before you go to bed, this is especially important before Daylight Saving Time. You don't want to engage in any activities that will make it more difficult for you to get to sleep, and the type of light emitted from your devices will do just that. "Blue light affects your circadian rhythm and melatonin (sleep) hormone levels, tricking your brain into thinking it is still daytime. Limit your screen time before bed or use apps that filter or block blue light to help you get a better night’s sleep," CU Boulder Today advised. Channel your inner Rory Gilmore and opt for an old-timey paperback book instead.


Take A Mental Health Day On Monday

Even if you do everything experts recommend, you still might have a hard time adjusting to the time change. If you're feeling bajiggity AF on Monday, it's OK to take a mental health day. People aren't as productive at work the week following spring forward, and you're also more accident prone when you're sleep deprived. If you feel like you just can't even on Monday morning, taking a mental health day is just like taking a sick day. You don't have to explain yourself, Dr. Jesse Viner, CEO and chief medical officer of Yellowbrick, a nationally recognized provider of mental health services, told Bustle previously in reference to mental health days. If you have designated sick days, it's 100-percent your right to use them.


Move Your Body

Even if you're feeling extra tired during the days following Daylight Saving Time, if you have a regular workout routine, don't skip it. Even if you don't exercise on the regular, breaking up your days with some jumping jacks, short walks, or 30-second dance parties can help get your blood flowing and make you feel more energized. Unfortunately, unless you live in Arizona or Hawaii — the only two states that don't get involved with this old-timey practice — Daylight Saving Time is a fact of life. While this whole time-change thing is hella annoying, if you set yourself up for success ahead of time you can get through it like a boss.