Spring Forward – But Don’t Whack Your Head On The Diving Board

The boring history and discussion part (skip to next section for life hacks)

As we prepare to take the first step in our preparation for the coming of Spring, many people are dreading the loss of an hour of sleep. Sunday, March 8, 2015, marks the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. An adjustment made to our clocks each year to allow for more hours of daylight in the evening. In the fall, clocks are moved back one hour and in the spring they are moved forward an hour.

Graphic courtesy of bedding company Tempur Sealy and the sleep science program at the University of North Carolina
Graphic courtesy of bedding company Tempur Sealy and the sleep science program at the University of North Carolina

The concept of Daylight Savings Time has been around for a long time. It was originally thought up and proposed by New Zealander George Vernon Hudson in 1895. The concept was simple – make more and better use of the natural light provided by the sun during the summer months. The?clock shift allowed for longer daylight in the evening hours, rather than in the morning.

Until 1970, DST was a hit or miss thing in the United States. Sometimes we did it, sometimes we didn’t. Now we do it every single year and people actually look forward to the shift after the darkness of winter evenings sitting huddled in blankets in front of the fireplace.

The shift happens in my time zone (Eastern U.S.) at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 8, basically in the middle of the night. The shift is generally scheduled for the middle of the night (wee hours of the morning for you literalists out there) and usually on a weekend. This is done on purpose to allow people time to adjust before the Monday morning blues.

Things to make the shift easier (at least according to the experts)

1)?? Go to bed an hour earlier.

We all know this will never happen. Bed? Earlier? We might wish it, but it never happens. Experts recommend trying to get to bed a few minutes earlier every night for at least a week prior to the actual time change. Experts apparently don’t have deadlines, children, parents, a social life, or any life for that matter.

2)?? Set all your clocks ahead before you go to bed

Some people set their clocks ahead as early as Friday after they finish work. This carries a psychological advantage in that it programs your brain with the new time. Mine usually get reset Sunday morning while running around after realizing that the guide channel on the TV is correct and we forgot it again this year.

3)?? Get a good night’s sleep without interruptions

Ha ha ha. We do this anyway, right? Eight hours a night, every night. Our head hits the pillow and we are out and drifting toward dreamland in a matter of a few short minutes, right? No thoughts of the day passed, or the day ahead. Just calm thoughts of the wonderful dreams we’ll be having. Yeah, okay, NEXT!

4)?? Get sunshine

After the cold and dark winter, we all need sunshine. Get as much as you can. We have been known to have a bright day filled with sunshine even if the temperature is in the single digits and the wind chill factor makes it feel like 200? below zero. If it is bright and sunny, get your tail out there and enjoy it! No? Bundle up and sit inside near a window?

5)?? Stay natural by limiting caffeine and alcohol

Who ARE these experts? They can live without caffeine and booze? Maybe they really don’t have families, bills, life concerns? Oh, wait, they sell mattresses, and probably paid UNC to conduct an ‘official’ study. Well that explains everything!

So what now?

It’s Saturday night, silly. Turn your clocks ahead and go to sleep!