What to Do This Week to Prepare Your Body for Temporary Changes
Our body and brain know what time it is without even looking at the clock. We get sleepy at night and hungry during the day … and then the time changes and throws us into confusion. With one of these temporary changes approaching, once again, here’s how you can prepare your body.
In the fall, we set the clock back one hour (hence “spring is ahead, rollback back”) and return to standard time (instead of daylight saving time). This means that the sunrise will occur at 7 am, not 8 am. Anything that doesn’t work on a digital clock will be an hour early, including your kids who wake up at some unholy hour, and your pets who won’t understand why dinner is needed. so late .
So how can you prepare ahead of time, and what can you do if times change and you are not quite ready yet? Try these tips.
Adjust bedtime now
For the “owl” changing the time of falling is a godsend: suddenly, instead of being late for something, you can wake up “on time” and be earlier than you were before. I like to use this to my advantage to get some extra morning workout time or some peaceful habit like journaling. Instead of 7 o’clock in the morning painfully early, now it seems like now is the time to get out of bed.
But if you’re a morning person, you have the opposite problem. You will love waking up in the morning, but by evening you will fall asleep on the couch even earlier than before. (It will be 22:00, but it will be like 23:00)
Be prepared for this by postponing bedtime a bit. If you go to bed 15 minutes late every day starting today, you won’t have the sudden shock when the time officially changes.
Eat on a new schedule
Your body receives some signals about the time of day from your meal schedule. Take advantage of the old traveler’s trick – eat according to your destination’s time zone to move your internal clock in the right direction.
Morning meals are especially useful for shifting the clock, so you can change your meal times as if you were going to bed or waking up. (This will help your pets and children as well, so consider making small mealtime changes that apply to the whole family.) You can change times each day, like before bed, or just decide with the whole family what to eat. at 6:30 instead of 6 until the end of the week. It will still help.
Get the light at the right time
Daylight is a powerful tool for regulating our circadian rhythms, as anyone who has used a light box to tackle mental health problems during the winter knows. You usually use your light box in the morning, for example when having breakfast. The DIY alternative is to just walk in the morning sun.
You don’t want to mess with it using a light box in the evening, but you can stay on track by turning on daylight at times of day when it makes sense, especially in the morning. So keep going for your morning walks and maybe make an extra effort to avoid looking at your screen late at night .
Don’t worry about this “extra hour”
It’s great that we’ll have an extra hour of the night; I can definitely use sleep. But if you think of it as an “extra” hour these days, it can be tempting to find a way to use that hour. Don’t stay up late just because you have a freebie.
Pay attention to your alcohol and caffeine intake.
Both of these delicious chemicals can affect your sleep, so don’t overdo it anyway. If you drink coffee after dinner to calm yourself down, that coffee can ruin your sleep more than you expect. Alcohol is less likely to be a problem during fall times than in spring, but I’ll say it anyway: even though alcohol can make you sleepy, it degrades the quality of sleep you end up getting . You will be happy if you can get into a rhythm in which you sleep and wake up at the right time without chemical assistance.