Health & Wellness Articles

6 Tips to Deal with Daylight Saving Time

Time-Tested Ways to Cope with the Time Change

Despite the controversy, one thing is certain—DST will be around for a long time. So here are some time-tested tips for dealing with the time change:
  • Start early. The time change is usually scheduled for the wee hours of Sunday morning, in order to reduce the disruption of the workweek. To give yourself more time to adjust before the workweek begins, reset one of your clocks at the start of the weekend, such as Friday night or Saturday morning. Try to eat meals, sleep, and wake according to that clock. When Monday comes, you’ll be on your way to feeling adjusted. However, if you have activities and events during the weekend, make sure you don’t get confused about the correct time!
  • Exercise. Working out releases serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps our bodies adjust. Exercise regularly, preferably outdoors, and early in the day. A brisk morning walk is perfect. Avoid exercising too late in the evening though, as this could interfere with the quality of your sleep. Learn more about the connection between exercise and better sleep.
  • Nap wisely. Try to resist the urge to take long naps late in the day. If you get tired, take a short, energizing walk around the block instead. If you must nap, keep it earlier in the day and limit your snooze time to no more than 20 minutes.
  • Don’t imbibe. Alcohol interferes with normal sleep cycles, so don't rely on a nightcap to fall asleep. Find out about other foods and drinks that help (and hurt) your sleep.
  • Digest. After the time changes, you may be hungry for meals earlier or later than before. Be sure to give yourself ample time to digest your dinner before heading off to bed. A heavy meal in your stomach will interfere with the quality of your sleep, too.
  • Lighten up. The right combination of light and dark can help your body's circadian rhythm readjust so you can fall asleep on your new schedule and sleep more soundly. In the morning, open the shades and brighten the lights. Try to spend time outside during the day, if possible. Dim the lights in the evening, so that your body understands that it’s time to wind down.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you adjust more easily to the biannual time changes. If you’ve tried all of these suggestions, and you’re still having trouble adjusting to the time change after a few weeks, call your health care provider for more assistance.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • I like the time change - Spring ahead - Fall behind.
    Spring ahead more daylight for gardening, walking, visiting friends & relatives, etc.
    Get everything done & drive to my favorite spots to see beautiful sunsets. - 3/9/2014 5:00:16 PM
  • the time change never bothers me. For about a week I cannot believe how late or early it is lol But I get over it and life goes on as it has every year. - 3/9/2014 2:59:08 PM
  • I dislike DST. That said, though, my biggest beef with this article is that SP posted it as featured on Monday. Tip #1 - start early, and change your clock early. How about posting it on FRIDAY, SparkPeople?!?!? - 11/4/2013 8:29:23 AM
  • Well I am up at 2:00 am - I would have been happy staying on the same time. Going to work when it is dark and getting home when it is dark. - 11/3/2013 3:12:17 AM
  • Wish Arizona would go on daylight savings, its a real pain, no one else ever knows what time it is here! - 3/8/2013 7:43:42 PM
  • Happy to live in Hawaii, we don't adjust our clocks, so no disruption there. I just keep forgetting to add the extra hour to the time difference when I call family on the mainland. - 3/8/2013 1:36:01 PM
  • Unlike the previous poster, I find I need more than two days to adjust. When I'm on top of things, I start moving my clock back in 15-min. increments a week in advance. Then I'm 'there' when the morning arrives.

    Personally, I HATE dst--you don't "gain" or "lose" daylight; you just gain/lose a bit of convenience at the expense of all sorts of irritations (not least being confusion in international communication--si
    nce different countries start/end at different points, and the southern hemisphere moves in reverse of the northern, it becomes complicated twice a year to remember when it is where). When there was no/minimal electricity available, perhaps 'gaining' an hour made sense, but now so few people are dependent on natural light for their activities, it's a ponderous dinosaur that should be relegated to extinction. - 3/8/2013 12:23:56 PM
  • i dont understand the people who have issues adjusting. my mom always changed our clocks before we went to bed on saturday night and i woke up on sunday feeling fine. even when i had to work at 4 in the morning i still had no issue adjusting to the time change. i like the spring time change better because that means longer days and more sun. the fall one makes me sad because then it starts getting dark at 5. i dont like that. - 3/8/2013 10:54:04 AM
  • I LOVE the change in the Spring! I was so excited to realize it is this weekend! I hate the fall change and the gloomy dark days! - 3/8/2013 6:21:55 AM
  • I don't understand how they can justify disrupting the lives of millions of people twice a year- especially in Spring when we lose an hour's sleep. It takes me weeks to re-adjust to DST. We should pick one and stay there. - 11/3/2012 6:12:25 PM
  • I do not like the fall time change as much as I like the spring change, however it is wonderful to be here to see it. - 11/3/2012 1:54:11 PM
  • I used to do a lot of international travel, skipping 4 to 12 time zones in one flight. I found it easier to deal with those time zone changes than with this ONE HOUR adjustment!!!

    We're trying to get a jump on it by starting with the new time today. - 11/3/2012 1:44:02 PM
  • I really hate the time change. I can't seem to adjust my internal clock. I can't sleep because I am not tired and then feel tired all day because I didn't get enough sleep. Takes me at least a week to adjust. I wish they would just do away with the thing. Think of all the money that would be saved by not having to adjust all the manually operated clocks in public buildings and elsewhere! - 11/3/2012 11:22:21 AM
  • verall there are less fatal car accidents?? having nothing to do Im sure with there being no SNOW AND ICE on the roads. - 11/3/2012 10:17:07 AM
  • I dread Daylight Savings changes because the time shifts seem to drive me nuts. Coming or going, I feel really draggy and get sick around that time; it might be a coincidence but it always happens. I spent much of my life in a place without time shifts, so maybe my body rhythm is affected more strongly than most. - 11/3/2012 9:06:49 AM

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