Daylight savings time is a divisive topic. According to a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 70% of Americans don’t like changing their clocks. 40% of us would rather stay on year-round standard time, while 30% of us prefer the longer days of year round DST.
One thing we can all agree on? The days and weeks following the clock shift are weird. Our circadian rhythms are disrupted, sleep cycles tampered with, and brains confused. We either tend to be really late or really early for a little while.
Though many advocate for ridding modern society of DST altogether, it’s here to stay (at least for another round of falling backward).
We don’t know about you, but here at the Coop HQ, we decided, once and for all, we’re going to be ready for the change this year! We spoke to sleep wellness coach Kali Patrick about what we can do to prepare our bodies, minds, and internal clocks for a big change. And what we learned surprised us.
It feels like jet lag
“The easiest way to think about
Adjust your sleep schedule in advance
The best way to take the anxiety out of the shift? Prepare. “Since we know it’s coming, it’s best not to wait till the night before and simply change the clocks.” Patrick calls this practice an “all-at-once approach,” which only serves to shock our bodies when we gain that hour.
Patrick suggests making small changes week by week, starting right now. She recommends going to bed and getting up 15 minutes later each day, and adding another 15 minutes each subsequent week. “If you were to start right now, it won’t be so drastic.”
Ease into the day
Beyond prepping for time changes, Patrick suggests approaching our sleep issues with compassion. “Our bodies don’t get to work as quickly as we want them to. Try easing into the day rather than having a ‘get up and go’ mindset.”
Take a break
She also recommends we pay attention to what she calls our own personal “rest rhythm.” Patrick explains that our energy ebbs and flows over the course of the day. When we feel a dip, it’s time to take a break. “People need to understand that it’s okay to take a restorative break, like sitting down for 15 minutes or taking a walk.”
Featured image: @benyahr