How To Survive Daylight Saving Time 2018 & Spring Forward, According To Experts
With spring fast approaching, it's also time to spring forward at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 11. This means you'll be gifted with an extra hour of daylight. But, losing just one hour of sleep can seriously mess with your body and mind. However, there are ways to survive daylight saving time, according to experts, to get through spring forward like a boss. Daylight saving time is purposely scheduled on a weekend to mitigate things like traffic accidents, however, Saturday is usually a day that has millennials staying up later than they would during the week. Because, all of the fun things!
While you may not want to miss out on Saturday night shenanigans, staying up late, coupled with losing an hour of sleep, can make you foggy well into the next week. "When we spring forward, our bodies need to quickly adjust to going to bed earlier and this can end up leaving us restless at night and feeling overly tired and groggy the next day," Dr. Mia Finkelston, a board certified family physician who treats patients virtually via telehealth app LiveHealth Online, tells Bustle. "Once this happens, it’s like a domino effect in regards to how we function over the next few days."
Unfortunately, there's no getting around the effects of daylight saving time, but there are ways to make it suck less.
1. Tweak Your Sleep Schedule
While you shouldn't overhaul your sleep schedule entirely during daylight saving time, Dr. Finkelston advises going to be 15 minutes earlier than you normally would and getting up 15 minutes earlier in the days before and after spring forward. "The next day, increase that time to 30 minutes earlier on both ends and so on and so forth. Waking up before the sun is up can be tough, so I recommend having some bright lights nearby that you can turn on as soon as you get out of bed," she says. "Open the blinds just as you would and anticipate the sunrise, and put on some upbeat music if that gets you moving. The point is, do something that will energize you."
2. Take A Vacation Or Mental Health Day
If you already have big plans for Saturday night, and you know that you're the type of person who is seriously affected by lack of sleep, consider planning ahead to take a vacation or mental health day on Monday. "Some people are more sensitive to sleep changes than others, and if you don't handle it as well, try to make some changes to help yourself out," Dr. Finkelston says. "If you need to, take a vacation day (just plan ahead)."
3. Schedule Some Power Naps
Spring forward is the time of year you probably most regret shunning all of those naps you were offered as a kid. Fear not, my friendlies, because naps are back in a big way, and you are totally empowered to take them.
"A power nap can be of value when there is an occasional interruption from the normal schedule of sleep," Dr. Steven Olmos, DDS, tells Bustle. "The first part of our sleep is designed to rest and heal the body and the second part of sleep is to rest and heal the brain. A quick nap can restore the body fatigue that is felt with the previous night’s interrupted sleep." If you're in New York City, you can even book some time at a nap cafe.
4. Try Some Things To Reduce Inflammation
This was news to me, but apparently not getting enough sleep can increase inflammation in your nose, which is one of the reasons you feel like a wrung out dishrag after not getting enough sack time. "This results in mouth breathing and fatigue, Dr. Olmos says. "Over-the-counter Hyperosmotic saline and xylitol formulations such as Xlear, hydrate the nasal tissue shrink the swollen tissue to allow proper nasal breathing (stopping mouth breathing)."
I actually use nose sprays and xylitol tabs pretty regularly because I always feel dried out living in southern California. It turns out that these things can also make you feel better if you're not getting enough sleep. Because, mouth breathing.
5. Be Careful What You Eat & Drink Before Bed
This is the giant coffee cup (it's big enough to fit a full grown cat) I plan on using Sunday morning when I have to get up at 6 a.m. for work, and no amount of research about avoiding caffeine can keep me from my coffee. However, Dr. Olmos says that you should avoid consuming large amounts of caffeine before bed, and you should also stay away from certain foods, especially right before daylight saving time. "Meals high in sugar, saturated fat and low in fiber will disturb your restful sleep, which means you will be more tired when you wake."
6. Maybe Don't Get Behind The Wheel
It's not a myth, there actually are more car accidents the Monday after daylight saving time. According to a study published in the journal SleepMed, and for up to six days after DST, according to a study published in Insurance Journal. Scott Lindstrom, Ford’s Tire Development & Driver Assist Technologies manager, tells Bustle: "When people are tired, drowsy and less attentive, they pose more of a risk to themselves and other drivers, as well as pedestrians." If you want to know the effects of driving while tired, you can take a free course to experience, first hand, the consequences of drowsy and distracted driving.
7. Jump Around On Monday Morning
If you're someone who usually works out in the morning, you might be tempted to skip your regular routine in favor of an extra hour of sleep. If you just can't even Monday morning, there are some things you can do in your cubicle to get an extra burst of energy, even if you never work out. Chicago based fitness instructor Dustin Hogue tells Bustle that these plyometric (jumping) exercises can boost your energy, which seems preferable to smacking yourself awake at your desk. He suggests things like tuck jumps, power lunges, plyometric push ups, and half burpees to not only stay awake at work Monday morning, but shake off the fog of spring forward so you're probably more alert than you care to be in that early morning staff meeting.
8. Remember, The Brain Fog Is Only Temporary
While you might feel foggy AF Monday morning. Dr. Finkelston says that the effects of spring forward are only temporary, and you'll soon go back to being regular tired instead of unbearably exhausted. "In a population where we already report that we are tired during the work week, even a precious hour of lost sleep can cause us to be grumpy, unhappy, and irritable. The good news is that these symptoms should not last long, and most people are fully acclimated in about three days or so," she says. "On the other hand, those longer daylight hours are usually very welcome and tend to brighten people's moods." Always a silver lining.