Daylight savings time (DST) is right around the corner, and most Americans will gain an hour of daylight as we set our clocks back one hour. Every year, we “spring forward” and “fall back” as daylight savings time begins.
But why do we follow this routine twice a year? How should we prepare for it?
What Is Daylight Savings Time?
DST is a system that was created to make better use of energy resources and natural daylight. Clocks are moved forward one hour in the spring and one hour backward in the fall.
Every year, like clockwork (pun intended), daylight savings time begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
Many countries around the world observe it, not just the United States. Daylight savings time was enacted and repealed several times before officially becoming law through the Uniform Time Act of 1966.
How Can You Prepare for Daylight Savings Time?
Most devices and clocks nowadays adjust on their own, but there are still some that you may need to adjust manually, like your oven, microwave, car, and analog clocks (remember those — the ones with the ticking minute and hour hands? ).
But preparing for DST is about more than just adjusting your clocks. You also need to prepare your mind and body for the transition. Research shows that daylight savings time can disrupt our sleep schedules and impact our health.
To ease the transition to daylight savings time, begin going to bed and waking up 15 minutes earlier, a few days before the time change. This will help your body gradually adjust to the time change.
If you struggle to go to bed earlier than usual, try the following:
- Taking a relaxing bath
- Enjoying a soothing herbal tea
- Reading a book
- Stop using devices an hour before bed (TV, computers, and phones)
- Avoiding caffeine too late in the afternoon