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Adjust your schedule to the changing daylight hours

You’ve heard of daylight saving time before, but do you really know what it is? Every spring we jump forward an hour to make the most of daylight in the summer. Once fall hits, we “jump back” an hour, as the days begin to shorten.

“What’s the point of daylight saving time,” you ask? Simply put, daylight saving time is meant to give people an extra hour of sunlight, regardless of the season. And while many people can’t wait to have more time in the sun, it can be hard to adjust to the change.

In fact, many people struggle through their daily routine at the start of daylight saving time. But do not worry; there are adjustments you can make to help. From prioritizing sleep to having a consistent schedule, here’s what you need to know:

1. Go to bed earlier

During daylight saving time, the clock may show 7:00 AM, but it feels like 6:00 AM to your body. As you probably know, an hour of sleep can make a big difference in your productivity.

To counteract this change, consider starting your nightly routine at least an hour earlier. Whether your routine involves putting your kids to sleep or taking a hot bath, move up your timeline. Doing this will help you go to sleep earlier so you don’t feel drowsy in the morning.

If possible, start putting yourself into this new schedule a few days before daylight savings time so your body has it time to adjust. The sooner you start, the easier it will be in the long run.

2. Adjust your schedule

One of the advantages of daylight saving time is that the evenings last longer. Instead of getting dark around 5 p.m., the sun usually shines until about 7 p.m. (depending on where you live). This way you have more time after work to do things you enjoy. Whether that’s going for a walk outside or grabbing a bite to eat with friends, it can feel like there are more hours in a day.

In addition to being able to do more, daylight saving time also provides health benefits through more sunlight. If you didn’t know, sunlight can greatly improve your health and well-being. It can help kill bacteria, regulate your immune system and even improve your mood.

In fact, according to research, not getting enough sunlight can lead to lower serotonin levels, which can lead to depression. This explains why many people feel down during the fall/winter months. Less sun equals less serotonin.

3. Eat a nutritious breakfast

Chances are you’ve heard the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, it’s true. Your morning meal can have a serious impact on your day and your overall energy level.

In fact, research has shown that skipping breakfast on a regular basis can wreak havoc on your health. First, it can affect your fat metabolism, causing weight gain. Skipping breakfast can also lead to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and more.

It is important to fill your body with nutrition, especially as you adjust to daylight saving time. If you don’t, you may experience fatigue and drowsiness. To counter that, make sure you start your day with a healthy and balanced meal. For example, eggs, yogurt and oatmeal. All three contain nutrients, such as fiber and protein, to help you feel full longer and promote healthy gut bacteria.

4. Exercise

The last thing you probably want to do when you’re tired is exercising. It may be one of the best things you can do. Exercising offers many benefits that can help you adapt to the time change. For example, exercise boosts your energy and mood. If daylight saving time has left you feeling drowsy and sluggish, a quick workout could be the cure.

Exercise also supports a good night’s sleep. In fact, even moderate exercise can help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. In addition, exercise can help counteract daytime sleepiness so that you don’t feel the need to take a nap in the afternoon.

It is important to note; you don’t need to complete intense workouts to experience these benefits. Walking, swimming, and even simple movements like yoga are all it takes to help you adjust to the changing daylight hours.

5. Avoid naps

During daylight saving time, you may think it’s a good idea to take a few minutes of rest in the afternoon. After all, you are exhausted and want to make sure you have enough energy to finish the day. That’s understandable, but taking a nap can do more harm than good.

For some, taking an afternoon nap can make it difficult to fall asleep later that night. Napping can also lead to sleep inertia (feeling drowsy or disoriented after a nap). While not everyone experiences this, some do, and it can make it difficult to adjust to the time change.

Instead of taking long naps in the afternoon, consider adjusting your bedtime to help regulate your hormones. Going to bed earlier can help fight fatigue without disrupting your circadian rhythm, leaving you feeling well-rested.

6. Be consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to adjusting your schedule. The more you stay true to your new routine, the easier it will be. So do your best to wake up and sleep at the same time every morning, even on weekends.

We know sleeping in can be tempting every once in a while, but even the smallest change can ruin your progress. Not to mention, keeping a consistent sleep schedule is a great way to improve your sleep and also help you feel well rested when you wake up.

Also, make sure you eat breakfast and dinner around the same time every day. You should also try to maintain a consistent exercise schedule. Follow a routine may seem off-putting, but it’s one of the best things you can do to make sure you adapt to the time change. Routines can also help reduce stress so you can feel calmer and relaxed.

7. Start preparing early

Raise your hand if you’ve ever forgotten to change your clocks, only to wake up in a panic on the morning of daylight saving time. Has your hand been raised? You are not alone. For many, daylight saving time seems to pop up out of nowhere. And while you may think it’s better to jump right into the change, preparation is important.

So make sure you put all your clocks forward one hour the night before daylight saving time starts. Doing this will prevent confusion in the morning. Instead, you’re done for the day knowing that you now have an extra hour in the evening to do something fun.

In addition to preparing yourself, make sure your family is ready. If you have young children, explain daylight saving time to them. Make sure they know what it means and what benefits it brings. Think of ways they can make the most of this time, such as hanging out with their friends longer after school. Or maybe they could join an after-school sports club now that daylight is getting longer.

Daylight saving time can be an adjustment, but it doesn’t have to make your life more difficult. With a little preparation and the above tips, you can jump ahead stress-free. Remember, daylight saving time is meant to help you – not hurt you. So eat nutritious food, sleep earlier, exercise and enjoy the extra sunlight!

Featured Image Credits: Photo by Tahir Shaw; Pexels; Thank you!

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Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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