November 2, 2014 marks the day where we set the clocks back one hour for Daylight Savings Time (DST), also known as “fall back.” Each year we do this and each year we try to figure out why in the world we feel so off for the first three to five days. Avoid that topsy-turvy feeling by having a small plan in place so your world won’t get rocked that first week of November.

Pre-Game

Can you actually prep yourself into an easier acclimation of daylight savings time? Yes, you can fight that feeling of Monday morning grogginess by setting your clocks back an hour an early on Friday night instead of Saturday night.  Then follow this plan.

  1. Wake up at the same time instead of sleeping in and trying to soak up that “extra” hour. Sleeping in creates internal confusion with your body’s internal clock. Starting your day with that lost hour on Saturday instead of Sunday gives you more time on the weekend to readjust eliminating that Monday exhaustion.
  2. Don’t take naps during this time. You may feel tired or “off” but staying on schedule (just make sure you don’t attend activities an hour early!) will help. If you feel tired then head outside and soak up some sun with a brisk walk or bit of yard work. Those leaves still need to be raked.
  3. Go to bed a few minutes early the day before and the first few days post-DST. It will help re-set your clock without making drastic changes to your schedule.

Work it Out

Exercise helps you sleep better, that’s no lie. When it comes to DST it can actually shorten the times it takes to adjust to your new light and dark hours. When you work out, Serotonin is released into your body.  This chemical lets your body adjusts to the change more easily.

  1. Schedule that walk, run or other outdoor workout for the same time. Don’t let the difference in light throw you off. Just get out there and go about your workout. If you exercise at the gym the same rules apply.
  2. Keep this schedule up for the next weeks to combat feelings of fatigue and feeling “off”.
  3. Don’t work out too late in the day, especially outside. The change in light in the evening hours will only throw you off.
  4. Be prepared for that change in light. If you must go running after work and it is already dark out, go at the same time and have that trusty headlamp and light reflective clothing ready. Same time of day, same run but it will look so different out there. Be safe, be ready.