Welcome to #TMITuesday! This week, we’re doing TMI Tuesday early to help you adjust to the upcoming end of Daylight Saving Time..
Juliana Kenny, Content Manager
The older we get, the harder it is to change the circadian clock in our bodies. For many people, the lack of light early on the in the night following the end of Daylight Saving Time can trigger sleepiness because “The lack of light shuts down our bodies’ production of serotonin, the mood-regulating chemical that affects alertness,” according to the AARP.
Avoid sedentary activities directly after dinner for the first couple of weeks following the end of DST. Save light housework for after dinner, do an errand, or go for a walk. You’ll be able to adjust to the early dark hours and stay on a non-disrupted sleep schedule.
Justine Dolorfino-Thieman, Digital Strategist
It’s nice to get an extra hour of sleep as you “fall back” at the end of Daylight Saving Time, but it can be hard to adjust to the shorter days. While the real effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) should not be taken lightly, the lack of sunlight can also be a downer for those who don’t experience significant issues during this season.
After I started college in a region known for its heavy winters (the “lake effect” phenomenon is a real thing, too!) my parents bought me a nightstand lamp that uses a full spectrum light bulb. I used it primarily in the mornings when getting ready for school, and it made those dark mornings much more bearable. It was less harsh than the overhead lights, too. This lamp also allowed me to adjust its brightness, so I could use it in the evening at a lower intensity. The best feature about this lamp, though, is that it also served as a wake-up alarm. The light would gradually grow brighter over the course of 30 minutes prior to my wake up time, and it helped me wake up naturally and gradually.
If you’re interested in adding to your home, try searching for ‘full spectrum lamps’, ‘natural light lamps’, or ‘natural light alarm clocks’ to see what your options are. And no matter what, try to spend time outside during the daylight, or sit by a window that provides natural light.
Andrea McCarter, Project Coordinator
With Daylight Saving Time approaching, the first thing that came to mind was gaining one more hour of sleep. But most of us feel its effects in the days, or even weeks, after Daylight Savings. One thing I do to help cope with the change is adjust the lighting in my house. For example, I open up the curtains and blinds as soon as I wake up, and dim all my lights before bed to help calm my mind.
Also, if you’re out on the night the time change takes place, be sure to take note of the time to avoid staying out too late. Many bars and restaurants stay open the additional hour, which could mean for a later night than originally planned.
Tom Ladeau, Social Media Manager
Adjusting to daylight saving time is fairly easy if you’re able to keep up a good sleep schedule. Using electronic screens for many hours after sunset can trick your body into thinking that it is earlier in the day by exposing your eyes to blue light. This unnatural light exposure can make it harder to go to sleep.
Many phones and computers come with blue light filters these days, and if not, they are easy to find. IPhones have a feature called Night Shift that will change the color of the light emitting from your screen on a set schedule. To enable Night Shift on your iPhone, go into Settings>Display & Brightness>Night Shift and toggle “Scheduled” on. From there you can set a schedule yourself or use a sunrise to sunset schedule.
For computers and phones without a built in blue light filter, f.lux is software that will work like Night Shift to disable blue light on a schedule. F.lux gradually transitions to a warmer colored screen as the sun sets, so it’s not jarring.
Michael McCarthy, Account Executive
Daylight Saving Time in the fall means gaining an hour of sleep. There are a couple ways that you can keep your sleep schedule on track. One thing that you can do is to set your alarm an hour earlier during the weekend prior to DST. This will allow you time to adjust over the weekend so that your sleep schedule doesn’t get thrown off. Another thing you can do is to get plenty of exercise prior to DST. Exercising releases serotonin in your brain which allows your body to adjust to changes more easily.
With the hour of sunlight that you will gain in the morning time you can even exercise prior to work if you are feeling extra ambitious. That way you will feel refreshed and energized before heading into the office. It is also nice to spend some time outside in the morning since it will get dark earlier in the evening as well.
Angela Leavitt, Founder & Chief Mojo-Making Officer
The thing that bothers me most about going off Daylight Saving Time is that it’s dark when I leave work. This can sometimes make me feel unsafe, depending on where I’m parked or going next. That’s why during the winter I keep a reflector suit at the office and put it on when I leave. While yes, it makes me more visible, it also means people are less likely to mess with me.