As many of us prepare to “fall back” into daylight savings time, we note with frustration that our schedule is about to become all disrupted once again, even in this most disruptive year. Autumn has the advantage of being the preferred of the two options: falling back or springing forward. That debt of an hour we made last spring is coming due. While some states and provinces have given it up entirely, November 1st is that date in the areas of North America that gain an hour while the UK has made the switch a week earlier. Winston Churchill described daylight savings time in this most eloquent depiction of one of the most mundane traditions of the year: “An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn… We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.”
Nevertheless, the interruption to our schedule can be more than a bore, requiring planning and adjustments. Many would agree that they would prefer not having such a change in the first place. Think of how many people are late to work, miss appointments and flights all due to a jump in our clocks. Sleep experts around the world are encouraging a reconsideration of the annual tradition, for good reason. The sleep deprivation caused by the springtime leap alone can lead to workplace accidents, car accidents and even heart attacks, according to Alanna McGinn, sleep expert.
Daylight Savings Time has had a long history with many fits and starts. There are a variety of reasons for its being implemented since very early days when our ancient cousins determined that it made sense to try to control the shorter light of winter. Other reasons over the years have been attributed to assist farmers with getting crops in and in saving energy to take advantage of more daylight.
Regardless of the necessity of time changes, how does it affect us right now? Well, only a minority of the population actually benefits from the autumn “fall back”. The Harvard Health blog explains that the negative effects are much longer lasting: “During the following week, many people wake up earlier, have more trouble falling asleep, and are more likely to wake up during the night.”. With that said, it’s important that you keep your sleep schedule as a priority in the days leading up to the clocks rolling back.
Recommended activities to adjust your sleep schedule include: going to bed earlier and at a consistent time each night, waking up at a consistent time each morning, reducing screens at night and controlling your diet. “Sleep hygiene” is a term that comes up a lot in our blogs; and for good reason. Being stricter with your sleep schedule is an unfortunate reality that people must face if they are serious about leading a healthier lifestyle. The benefits are worth it as regular, consistent sleep can lead to a more productive and fulfilling day.
So don’t let the clock change dictate how your week will go. Take charge by making the steps to improve your sleep habits for all weeks of the year. A useful tool to make this a reality is Zenbev Drink Mix: simple and easy to incorporate into a routine, Zenbev is as natural as you wish your sleep schedule was!