New week. New month.
It’s the first Monday in March, and that means it’s time for me to . . .

Spring – fickle, elusive Spring – is ever-closer. (Even up here in Michigan.) I’ve seen robins. The hellebores in my garden have buds. Residual snow is melting fast. JoJo is shedding more. Spring is coming!

And you know what that means? Daylight Savings Time!

Yes, my friends. We spring forward this Sunday morning (March 12) at 2:00 am.

There seems to be quite a spectrum of feelings about the whole time change thing. On one end of the scale, we have people who just kinda roll with it and say, “meh” and change their clocks without comment. (That’s me.) And on the other end of the scale, we have people who are incensed about it. (That would be my dental hygienist, who once ranted about Daylight Savings Time for my entire dental cleaning session.) (Trust me . . . I had no plaque when I left that appointment.)

One thing for sure . . .  I’ve never met anyone who LIKES the time change.

So I thought I’d Start Your Engines this month with some tips for making the DST transition easier for you, wherever you may fall on that spectrum.

According to the Sleep Foundation, even though the time changes only by an hour, it’s the abruptness of the change that causes problems for most people (in terms of sleep disruptions and mood disturbances). They suggest preparing yourself for the upcoming time change with the following recommendations:

  • Gradually adjust your schedule the week before the time change. Start going to bed 10-15 minutes earlier each day leading up to the time change, for example. If you have a standard meal time or workout time, try moving the timing forward gradually, too. Easing into the new time schedule will help you adjust to the new time quicker.
  • Take good care of yourself in the days before the time change. Get plenty of sleep. Eat well. Keep moving.
  • Set your clocks ahead before you go to bed on the night of the time change. You’ll hit the ground running when you wake up — and perhaps you’ll avoid “time mishaps” (y’know . . . when you show up for brunch an hour late).
  • Prioritize daylight exposure on the days following the time change. Natural light (even if it’s cloudy) is the main factor in setting our bodies’ circadian rhythms. It’s best if you can get outside in natural light on the Sunday morning of the time change for a while, and then as often as you can in the early days as your body adjusts to the new time. (If it’s too cold, you can also benefit from sitting near a window.)
  • Don’t over schedule yourself on the Sunday/Monday immediately following the time change if you can help it. Accept that you’re going to feel “off” a bit, and try to plan ahead.
  • Take a short nap if you need one. Just be careful that you don’t take a nap too late in the day, as that may exacerbate difficulties with falling asleep/staying asleep at night.

With a little planning and thinking ahead, maybe you can make the time change . . . a little bit easier.


How about YOU? What do you think about the upcoming time change? And what do you do to get yourself acclimated to a new time?


March is here.
Let’s get ready for Daylight Savings Time!

Start Your Engines!