How The Clocks Changing Can Affect Your Sleep

What Could The End of Daylight Saving Time Mean For Your Routine? 

In bedrooms across the US this morning confusion reigns, as those of us with analog alarm clocks blink in disbelief at the time displayed on our mobile phone.

A sliver of light peeks in from the curtains and confirms that yes, there’s something different about this AM...

Birds are chirping and the sun is shining; where’s the pitch-black commute to work we’ve become accustomed to?

In case you’d forgotten, November 3rd marks the end of Daylight Saving Time in the US (unless you live in Hawaii or Arizona), meaning no more getting up or heading off to work in sheer darkness. The clocks ‘fall back’ at the end of DST after ‘springing forward’ on the 10th of March this year, and for the majority of devices this would’ve happened automatically at 2 am this morning.

If you did get caught out, make sure to move back any analog clocks in your household before going about your day today.

What is Daylight Saving Time?

Daylight Saving Time has been used in the United States since World War I, but was not signed into law as the Uniform Time Act until 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Essentially, its purpose is to make better use of the light, transferring an hour of daylight from evening to morning in the Fall, when it is arguably more useful to more people. The ‘Saving’ period specifically refers to the months between Spring and Fall, when we get an extra hour of sunlight in the evening.

There are various reasons behind Daylight Saving Time, ranging from the notion of energy conservation to perceived health benefits of increased exposure to sunlight during the Summer months, though the necessity of DST is debated.

One thing to be aware of as the clocks ‘Fall’ back this weekend, is the impact of the longer nights on road safety. With the dusk coming an hour earlier, the potential for drowsy driving is high; be extra patient at rush hour, stay in your lane and keep an eye out for drivers darting in and out of lanes. 

How Else Will This Daylight Disruption Affect Us?

Well, unlike the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, which robbed us of a precious hour of sleep and may have totally upset your circadian rhythm, we’re gaining an hour of sleep now it’s Fall. That’s right, you got to enjoy an extra cozy hour cocooned in your duvet this morning.

However, this does mean the sun will set an hour earlier this evening, which can be disorienting at first: our brains assume it’s later than it is when it becomes dark sooner than usual, so don’t be surprised if you feel ready for bed a bit earlier tonight.

Another downside is of course that many of us won’t get to leave work while it’s still light out anymore, so for the next five months, it’s goodbye to enjoying post-work plans in the sunshine. Instead, at Organica HQ we’re embracing the prospect of hurrying home at clock-off, to a cozy evening in with a cup of cocoa and a good book.

3 Ways To Make The Time Transition As Seamless As Possible 

1. Get Your Sunshine Fix

Firstly, it’s recommended that you maximize your sun exposure now that the evenings will draw in earlier. A great idea is to start making the most of the extra sunlight in the mornings, giving you a mood boost to the start of your day. Prep your morning coffee on waking, pop it into a travel cup, and enjoy taking in the crisp Fall air on a brisk walk around the block. Or if you’re an evening exerciser, perhaps consider bumping your jog up to the morning instead.

If you’d like more ideas on how to get your mornings off to a raring start, read our blog on how to wake up earlier for inspiration. Alternatively, if you’re decidedly not a morning person, why not make it a goal to get out of the office during your lunch break? Set aside some precious out of doors time to get as much Vitamin D from the daylight as possible. Failing all this, you may wish to consider taking a supplement to boost your Vitamin D, or look for ways to incorporate more of it into your diet instead.

2. Let There Be Light

Many find that the earlier evenings in the Fall and Winter months prompt a gloomier state of mind, and for some this can even lead to severely compromised mood and feelings of fatigue. Keep an eye on your own mental and physical health during this season change, and if your body is still struggling to adapt to the end of DST, consider investing in a light therapy box.

The gadget works by counteracting your brain’s inclination to start producing melatonin when the sun goes down, which is a chemical associated with the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. By utilizing blue light to limit melatonin production, your body will feel more alert and less exhausted, just when the brain would normally be getting signals to power down for sleep. This is particularly useful as a little lift to help you get over that 4 pm slump at work, keeping you chirpy for longer.

3. Use Aromatherapy

Another great option for a mind and body boost during the earlier onset of evening darkness is aromatherapy. We recommend the therapeutic, energy-providing benefits of essential oils to all those struggling with the impact of limited exposure to daylight during Fall and Winter.

Zingy citrus oils in our Pure Energy Oil Roller are expertly blended to zap you into feeling more alert; just a few deep breaths of this fresh scent are all that’s needed from this compact, handbag pick-me-up. Keep Pure Energy in your desk drawer, so it’s always on hand when you’re feeling less than perky.

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