Prepare Yourself to Fall Back this Weekend!
If you are like me, there are a few days of the year that you believe are worth looking forward to, and this Sunday is one of them. This Sunday at 2:00 AM marks the end of Daylight Saving Time (which started on March 13th). For this one day, my mind and body will thank me for an extra hour of sleep; however, I know that the rested feeling from setting my clock back an hour will be short lived. As soon as the Monday after we “fall back” rolls around, my body and mind will be struggling to adjust. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine compares our bodies adjusting to the end of Daylight Saving Time to what our body feels like when it is jetlagged. Even though the purpose of Daylight Saving Time has merit ( i.e. saving energy and reducing accidents), any change in our sleep schedule can have a negative effect on our work and productivity. As you prepare to fall back this weekend, use the following to help lessen the disturbance that the time change can have in your life.
Set your clocks back: Luckily, most of our devices will update automatically on Sunday at 2:00 AM; however, for those of you who do not use their phone’s alarm clock feature, make sure to set your alarm clock back an hour before you go to bed on Saturday evening. Along with your alarm, go around your house and change any clocks that will not automatically adjust to the time change. I for one will be changing the settings on my coffee maker on Saturday evening! Along with changing your home clocks, it is important that the clocks in your workplace are set back an hour in preparation for the end of DST. Before the weekend, designate someone (or volunteer yourself) to go through the office and set any clocks that do not adjust automatically so that every office clock displays the correct time on Monday morning. Setting the clocks back in advance may seem trivial; however, it will save you unnecessary confusion after the time change.
Adjust gradually: Adjusting your sleep habits can be difficult, especially if you are someone who relies on a strict sleep schedule. If you know that the change in time this weekend will be a difficult transition, start altering your sleep schedule now. The best way to do this is to stay up a little bit later each day in the week prior to the time change, and sleeping in an hour on Saturday morning to give your body a jumpstart for falling back on Sunday.
Continue your routine: Even though it can be tempting to change your routine, the best way to get your body and mind to adjust to the time change is to stay true to your usual schedule. For example, if you like to go to the gym every Monday after work, make sure that you go this Monday even though chances are that you would rather go home and go to bed early. Another temptation can be taking naps to help your body adjust; however, these accommodations will hinder you from getting back on track.
Remind your coworkers: Before you leave work on Friday, be a courteous team member and remind your coworkers that Sunday marks the end of DST. A simple reminder as they are leaving the office or posting on the office door will remind coworkers to take the opportunity to adjust their sleep schedule over the weekend and set their clocks back an hour so that they aren’t an hour early for work on Monday. Trust me, they will appreciate it!
Enjoy the extra hour of sleep this Sunday, but prepare yourself for the fallout of falling back on Monday!