Daylight Saving Time (or DST) refers to the practice of moving the clock forward an hour on the second Sunday in March at 2am. We call this “Spring Forward”. The end of DST occurs the first Sunday in November at 2am when the clock is wound back an hour, or “Fall Back”.
Daylight Saving first started in Europe during World War I, with the idea that it would save coal that generated electricity. The theory was that if there was more daylight people would use less coal for lights at night. Many other countries adopted DST in hopes of saving coal.
This custom give us an extra late sunset in the summer (think longer days) and an earlier sunrise in the winter, which means it gets lighter earlier so you won’t have to walk to school or wait for that school bus in the dark. The downfall is that it creates confusion around the Spring Forward and Fall Back dates, and it messes with our sleep and internal time clocks. So here are a few tips for surviving this November’s “Fall Back”.
DST Fun Facts:
Places in North America that don’t do Daylight Saving:
- Some regions in Quebec and British Columbia
- American Samoa
- Puerto Rico
- Virgin Islands
- The eastern time zone portion of Indiana
According to Wikipedia “Most areas in North America and Europe, and some areas in the Middle East observe daylight saving time, while most areas of Africa and Asia do not. In South America most countries in the north of the continent near the equator do not observe DST, while Paraguay and southern parts of Brazil do. Oceania is also mixed, with New Zealand and parts of southeastern Australia observing DST, while most other areas do not.”
Table of Daylight Saving Participants by Country
- Set your alarm clocks and house clocks back BEFORE you go to bed in order to best savour that extra hour of sleep and be confident that you will know the correct time in the morning.
- If you use a smart phone or tablet and you have your Time Zone “Set Automatically” turned on, your device will adjust the clock automatically at 2am. On IOS devices this setting can be found in Settings -> General -> Date & Time.
- If you are an early riser, you will love the lighter mornings but might have more trouble adjusting to the time change than your night-owl counterparts. Try going to bed a half hour earlier (remember 9:00 will feel like 10:00) for the next three nights to help your body adjust slowly. Also if you are waking up too early, don’t jump out of bed, try laying in bed for an extra 15 minutes to let your body adjust.
- If you are a late riser you are probably looking forward to the extra hour of sleep but not the shorten evenings as it will get dark much earlier. You may think that the extra sleep will help but you won’t be tired come Sunday night and then you won’t get enough sleep for Monday morning when you have to get up on time. As suggested to the early risers, try laying in bed for an extra 15 minutes to feel like you got some yummy extra sleep time but then get up.
- Go outside and soak up as much light as possible during the daylight hours. Exercise outside or go for a walk with friends. Natural light will signal to your body to stay awake
- Try not expose yourself to bright light when it is dark outside… That’s right ladies, turn off those cell phones at night while trying to adjust to the time change. It will help your internal body clock know the difference between day and night.
If these tips don’t help, do not freak out. Rest assured that your body will eventually adjust on its own. Just give it time. There may not be enough time in the day, but on Sunday November 6th, you have a whole extra hour… try to do something productive with your extra time, like tackle the task you’ve been meaning to but haven’t found the time for. #ProductiveMorning