If you weren’t already thrown off by the earlier sunsets and the later sunrises, this weekend marks the official ending of daylight savings time. That means you’ll be setting your clocks back an hour and getting a little extra sleep. Getting an extra hour of sleep might not throw people off as much as losing an hour in the spring, but it can still make a difference in your routine. Here are our favorite ways to transition into daylight savings time ending:
Restore Your Car’s Headlights
This might seem like an odd suggestion, but you’ll be happy you did it when you are driving in more darkness than daylight the next few months. Make sure to check all of your car lights to make sure they are properly working and aren’t broken or out. You can also clean your headlights either with a store-bought product or your favorite DIY solution. It also isn’t a terrible idea to make sure your windshield wipers are working properly as well, since winter tends to bring more inclement weather.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
As we’re losing daylight hours, many people may begin to feel the effects of seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression related to the weather. The first symptoms of SAD typically appear in the late fall and persist throughout the winter, with cold weather, decreased sunlight and lack of vitamin D as some common causes. If you’re starting to feel the winter blues, make sure you take care of yourself, not pushing yourself too hard or remaining too stagnant. Add some of your favorite bright things to your apartment like flowers, candles, and even new home decor to brighten up your space during the long winter. If your symptoms progress, consider talking to a therapist or psychiatrist. You should never ignore your mental health and what your brain is trying to tell you.
Make Your Daylight Hours Count
What’s tricky about the smaller window of sunshine after daylight savings time ends is that the only real light hours occur while most people are working. Don’t waste the sunlight you have by remaining stationary at your desk all day. At lunch or on an unscheduled break, clear your head by taking a short walk outside. Not only will this small amount of sun exposure give you some mood-boosting vitamin D, but it will also add some necessary movement to your day, something that many workers who sit behind a desk all day feel they need. Plus, getting some much-needed fresh air will have you feeling refreshed and ready to work when you get back to your desk.
Ease Into These New Hours
It’s hard to adapt your sleeping schedule in just one night. Instead of expecting your body clock to adapt overnight, gradually ease into the time change. If you want to work yourself into staying up until 10 p.m. but can’t seem to get past the 9 p.m. hump, give yourself a week to work up to that extra hour. Each night, try staying awake for an extra 10 minutes. If all else fails and you fall asleep a little earlier than you wanted, at least you’re getting a little extra sleep.