When things are out of control, how do you create harmony in your life?

Sleep is a big part of a harmonious life for me. So, if you are like me, then Daylight Savings Time will have an impact on the harmony of your sleep.  Specifically, for me, my energy and sleep. When the time changes, I feel more tired, less focused and wake up through the night.

This coming Sunday, March 10, 2019 we will be having a time change (unless you live in Arizona, part of Indiana, Hawaii, and territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands). We will be losing an hour of valuable sleep.  For some of us, it’s going to be a difficult process. If you think that one-hour will not make a difference in your energy and focus for a few days, don’t be mistaken.

Russell Rosenberg, board chairman for the National Sleep Foundation, says “the sleep loss associated with daylight saving time has been linked to increases in traffic and on-the-job accidents the Monday following the time change.” So take precautions to help you prepare for the upcoming time change.

Here are a few tips that I found a few years ago that help me to weather the time change:

1. Start this week by moving your schedule, especially your evening activities, up by 15-minutes each day.  Here are examples of activities that you might consider moving up - eating dinner, doing homework or going to bed.  

Here is a sample of how you can make the change gradually:

  • Today, Tuesday go to bed at 10:45pm

  • Wednesday go to bed at 10:30pm

  • Thursday go to bed at 10:15pm

  • Friday go to bed at 10:00pm

  • Remember, Saturday we lose an hour at 2am.

2. Sunday get some sunlight! Sunlight helps to set your circadian rhythms, your internal clocks.  If it is too cold to be outside with the sun then grab your favorite non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverage and sit in your favorite window for 30 to 60 minutes.  The sunlight can make you want to go to bed early.

3. Avoid alcohol and caffeine for a few days before daylight saving time.  Alcohol and caffeine can interfere with your hormones, specifically cortisol and melatonin.  Sometimes they make it difficult to fall asleep but they can also make it more difficult to wake up.  If you are already feeling sleep-deprived, then waking up with less sleep will make you feel horrible!

I learned a long time ago that even the smallest things that help me get more sleep are worth their weight in gold.  I hope some of these help you.

To Your One Sweet Life,

Dr. Dae