Spring Forward: Tips for Adjusting to Daylight Saving Time

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Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a practice where we adjust our clocks forward by one hour during the warmer months of the year, typically in spring, and then adjust them back by one hour in the fall. This means we lose an hour of sleep in the spring when we spring forward and gain an hour in the fall when we fall back. DST is mainly observed in high-latitude countries where sunrise and sunset times vary considerably.

The primary purpose of DST is to make better use of daylight during the longer days of spring and summer. When we move the clock forward in the spring, we shift an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, allowing us to make the most of natural light later into the evening hours. This can have various benefits, including:

  • More hours of daylight in a day
  • More opportunities for outdoor activities and leisure pursuits after work or school
  • Safety on the roads and in public spaces by reducing the need for artificial lighting during peak evening hours
  • Significant energy savings, as less electricity is consumed for lighting purposes.

Why Was Daylight Savings Time Created?

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One of the earliest proponents of DST was English builder William Willett, who advocated for advancing the clocks by 80 minutes in four gradual steps during April and reversing the process in September. He published a pamphlet in 1907 titled The Waste of Daylight, urging people to take advantage of the longer daylight hours during the summer months. 2 years later, Andrew Peters introduced a DST bill to the House of Representatives, but it shortly died in committee.

World War I Influence

During World War I, several countries, including Germany and the United Kingdom, implemented DST to conserve fuel and resources for the war effort. The US followed suit in 1918, enacting temporary DST through the Standard Time Act to support the war economy by extending daylight hours for industrial production and reducing the need for artificial lighting. Year-round DST was reinstated during World War II as part of ongoing efforts to support wartime objectives.

Congressional Actions and Repeals

However, DST faced opposition and controversy in the US. 1919 Congress repealed DST after the war ended, citing various concerns and criticisms. President Woodrow Wilson, who supported DST and an avid golfer like William Willett, vetoed the repeal twice, but Congress overrode his second veto.

Recent Legislation

In recent years, there have been legislative efforts to address the issue of DST. The Sunshine Protection Act is one such proposal introduced in Congress to make DST permanent nationwide. This bill aims to extend DST throughout the year, eliminating the need to fall back in the fall. The public opinion regarding DST has been mixed, but a slight majority prefers to eliminate DST according to recent surveys.

Effects of DST

The adjustment in clock time can disrupt the circadian rhythm and affect the timing of our sleep cycle. This can lead to temporary disturbances in the sleep cycle and potential sleep disorders. Lack of quality sleep may cause fatigue, irritability, and decreased productivity.

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Research suggests a potential link between DST transitions and an increased risk of heart attack, possibly due to the disruption in circadian rhythms and sleep patterns. Furthermore, a connection between clock shifts and a rise in traffic collisions has been noted in the US and the UK but not in Finland or Sweden.

Tips to help you Fall Back into Standard Time

As we approach Daylight Savings 2024, we must be mindful of these potential effects and take steps to mitigate any negative impacts. Here are some tips to help you adjust to DST:

Gradually Prepare Yourself with an Earlier Bedtime

Just as you slowly adjusted to the time change when DST began, gradually shifting your bedtime earlier in the days leading up to the end of DST can help your body transition back to Standard Time. Aim to go to bed and wake up 15-30 minutes earlier each night in the week leading up to the time change.

Invest in a Quality Mattress

A comfortable and supportive mattress helps promote restful sleep and minimize disruptions to your sleep schedule, particularly during the transition into and out of DST. Invest in a high-quality mattress that matches your needs and preferences, such as one that provides adequate support for your body's pressure points and promotes proper spinal alignment. A quality bed can help you sleep better. 

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Update Your Clocks in Advance

Remember to update your clocks – including those on appliances, electronic devices, and in your car – before you go to bed on the night DST ends. This will help you wake up at the correct time and start your day on the right foot.

Create a Nighttime Routine

Establish a calming nighttime routine to signal your body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Take part in relaxing activities like reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises before bed. Avoid stimulating activities, electronics, , etc., which make it hard to fall asleep.

Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Consistency plays a big role in maintaining healthy sleep habits, as it helps regulate the body's internal clock. Try to come up with a regular bedtime and wake-up time, and stick to the plan even on weekends. Sleeping in or staying late can disrupt your sleep schedule and make adjusting to the time change harder.

Prioritize Daylight Exposure

It's also advisable to spend time outdoors during daylight hours. The exposure to natural light helps regulate your body's internal clock and can improve your mood, energy levels, and sleep quality. Open curtains or blinds to let bright light into your home during the day and consider taking short walks or breaks outside whenever possible.

Find the Right Mattress at the Bedding Mart

Your bed can make or break the quality of your sleep, especially during transitions like DST. At the Bedding Mart, we understand the importance of finding the right mattress that meets your needs and preferences. That's why we carry a wide selection of mattress options. Visit our store to find the right mattress today.

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