Ready to say goodnight to Daylight Savings Time and good morning to Standard Time? We’ve enjoyed Standard Time in different time zones in the United States of America and Canada since November, 1883 when the railroads adopted the practice of standardized times in established time zones. It wasn’t until 1918 however that the Standard Time Act was established and everyday people began using these standards in their communication and travel.
This year, on Sunday, November 2nd at 2:00 a.m. we fall back and gain an extra hour of…sleep, raking leaves, working out, enjoying a longer time over coffee with friends, doing nothing or whatever you wish to do when your cell phones, computers and iPads automatically turn the clocks back one hour. When you think of it, do you really take that extra hour of sleep or do you just enjoy laying in bed a bit longer, reading email and scanning the internet?
Of course, if you live in Arizona, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa—you don’t observe Daylight Saving Time and so you’ll be staying on Standard Time.
The change in your body’s circadian rhythm of one hour may ignite a number of health concerns from cluster headaches to hormonal fluctuations and weight gain, to trying to stay awake in the evening, to seasonal affective disorder and depression, increased irritability and feeling a bit more lethargic to impacting our basal metabolic rate (BMR) (the calories we burn while we are at rest).
We typically notice the change to Standard Time when we leave work on Monday and it looks like “it’s getting dark earlier.”
You can prepare for this yearly unheaval by changing your clock on Saturday afternoon or early evening including adjusting your sleep and eating schedules to be a bit earlier, watch the caffeine and alcohol intake and of course get as much daylight and exercise as you can. Remember you really don’t have less time to exercise with the “shorter days.” Consider over the counter supplements, such as low doses of melatonin, with your doctor’s ok, if the adjustment is challenging. Eating healthy breakfasts of whole grains and protein is also important to adjusting to this time change. Consider taking advantage of the earlier morning sunlight and wake up with a mindset of gratitude.
Be sure you use the end of Daylight Savings Time to do the standard things that turning the clocks back an hour remind us to do: check and replace the batters in smoke detectors, get the emergency kit ready for your car if you live in climates where that’s necessary, replace the bulbs in your outdoor home lights, and prepare for the upcoming holidays, parties, gift shopping and yes, of course, dieting.
Ben Franklin reminded us, “lost time is never found again.” So regardless of what time it is, how light it is when you wake up, or how dark it is when you leave work, focus on what’s going right, fill yourself with gratitude for another day, and pack it with the best you that you can bring.
See you on Monday morning, wide-awake and fully refreshed!