The Beginning of Daylight Savings Time 2019 Starts March 10!
Spring Forward is right around the corner. This is when fake time happens, aka Daylight Savings Time (DST). Fall Back is when DST ends and we go back to real time and are given back the hour that we lost in the Spring. In my home we have a deep disagreement about DST; husband loves it, and I detest it.
Every Spring and Fall I consider moving to Arizona or Hawaii where they just keep it real time all year.
Some people argue that DST is healthier because you get more daylight to be active and exercise, which may be true and may have some possibilities of being a compelling argument. However, I think my biggest issues with DST is the transition. For one, you lose an hour. Losing is never fun, unless it is unwanted weight. The DST transition is also not good for your health. There are scientific studies that show that there are more strokes and heart attacks immediately after springing forward. In addition, there are more motor vehicle accidents and workplace injuries in the first few days that follow.
Also, parents are more likely to consider giving their children up for adoption during this time due to lack of sleep and the havoc the time changes create. Plus, time changes upset the natural circadian rhythm and I rarely like messing with nature.
And it creates extra work, changing all of the clock times on appliances and such.
So When Did Daylight Savings Time Start in the U.S.
You know you want to know. But just for fun, guess first.
Daylight Savings Time first started in Europe during World War I in 1916, starting with Germany and Austria, in order to conserve fuel resources. Many other countries soon followed. In 1918 the first DST in the United States was enacted and started on March 31. Because of its unpopularity with the people, it was discontinued in most areas. Then during World War II President Roosevelt re-instituted DST from February 1942 to September 1945, year round this time. It was called, ‘War Time’. Then after that…well, if you are that curious just go to the link above to read more.
But anyway, DST is coming. We might as well brace ourselves and make the most of it. Healthy, smart people do stuff like that.
How to Ease the Transition This Year
*Make sure you practice basic, good sleep hygiene.
*Get outside and expose yourself to bright light early in the day.
*Take a few minutes each night to get ready for the next day. Your brain will appreciate the organization and be more apt to quiet down.
*Avoid screens like iPads, iPhones, and TV’s 1-2 hours before bedtime.
*Create a good bedtime routine and stick to it as closely as possible.
*Calm down with things like a cup of herbal tea, a good fiction book, journaling, doing some stretches, or taking a bath.
*Try reducing or avoiding caffeine and alcohol, as they are both notorious sleep disrupters.
*Stop eating 3 or more hours before bedtime.
*Exercise is always helpful, just not too close to bedtime.
*And in a Cleveland Clinic article, neurologist and sleep expert Dr. Tina Waters suggests gradually going to bed earlier and getting up earlier in increments of 10-15 minutes starting 2 weeks prior to DST. Sorry, too late for that this year.
Spring Forward is disruptive. However, usually the transition only takes one to two weeks for your body to adjust. I wish you the best on March 10 if you live in any other state besides Arizona and Hawaii. Happy transitioning!
(Parts of this article were adapted from my email newsletter from October 2018.)
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You might be interested in checking out these articles I wrote on sleep:
Cleveland Clinic. Daylight Savings Time: 4 Tips to Help Your Body Adjust. (October, 2014)