Here’s a reminder to set your clock forward for Daylight Savings Time, starting on Sunday, March 8th, 2020.
You may not even need this reminder, unless you have wall clocks in your house, because most devices are so smart these days, they just automatically change themselves once the time change goes in to effect. Don’t you miss those days of accidentally sleeping too late the following Monday because you forgot to update your clock on the nightstand? Yeah, I don’t miss that either.
Have you ever wondered why it’s called “daylight savings”? Essentially, we change our clocks as a way of “saving” or making better use of natural daylight. During daylight savings time clocks are set an hour ahead, so that the sun rises later in the morning and sets later in the evening. We do the opposite in the fall. Contrary to popular belief, Daylight savings Time was not enacted to benefit farmers, but rather as a wartime conservation effort during World War I.
One of the best things about Daylight Savings time is leaving work when the sun is still out. Some people say it saves energy during the spring and summer months, because more people may be outside in the evening and not using artificial light at home. Other people (like me) love the long summer evenings and feel safer when there is still light. There are people who also complain about the drawbacks of springing ahead, as it causes you to lose an hour of sleep or an hour of productivity, and a rise in traffic accidents due to drowsy driving during the first few days after the spring time change.
Here are some tips for handling the time change:
- Get extra sleep. To compensate for losing that precious hour of shut-eye, go to bed an hour earlier every night to ease yourself into the time change, so you’ll be less likely to be forced to drive sleep-deprived.
- Choose appropriate light to signal your body. The brightness of your environment affects your sleep cycle. Get up early and let in the sunlight to wake yourself up. Then, make sure your lights at home are dim when you want to signal to your body that it’s time to go to sleep to make sure you fall asleep at a good time. This also means you should not stare at a bright computer screen right before bed.
- Shift your routine. When preparing to spring forward, limit caffeine and alcohol in the hours leading up to bedtime. If you do a daily workout, make sure it’s not late in the evening or you may find it difficult to go to sleep since your body is not used to the earlier bedtime.