Tips to stay energized after the Daylight Savings time change

Sleep doctor Robert Oexman, director of  The Sleep to Live Institute, understands how the two time changes every year can wreak havoc on sleep schedules and energy levels. He offers the following tips to keep you feeling rested and energized.
Sleep doctor Robert Oexman, director of  The Sleep to Live Institute, understands how the two time changes every year can wreak havoc on sleep schedules and energy levels. He offers the following tips to keep you feeling rested and energized.

The good news about falling back

Regardless of the time springing forward or falling back, the hour difference can leave you feeling out of sorts. According to Oexman, however, falling back is easier on our bodies than the spring time change. “As most people are already sleep deprived, getting that extra hour of sleep will be welcome,” he adds. Even better, babies and children adjust easier to time changes so they, too, will willingly benefit from the time change.

The bad news about falling back

When Daylight Savings ends, it marks the beginning of much less daylight each day, which can throw off our circadian rhythms. “The lack of daylight could leave us feeling less energized, more sedentary, and adopting bad napping habits that impact our sleep schedule and cause nightly insomnia,” Oexman warns. “In a worst case scenario, the winter blahs can turn into seasonal affective disorder (SAD), impacting our mood, promoting weight gain, and causing oversleeping or insomnia.”

Tips for dealing with Daylight Savings

Fewer daylight hours can send you into sleep mode in the middle of the afternoon or leave your dragging in the morning once your coffee has worn off. Oexman offers the following energy-boosting tips for dealing with the time change:

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  • Perform your own light therapy — Buy a small lightbox online and soak up that light and be sure to spend early evenings in full light to keep you awake until after dinner.
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  • Run errands in the evening — Go shopping for groceries and clothing, and run errands, in the evening to keep you in a well lit environment. It will keep you off the couch dozing off to the 5pm news.
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  • Keep exercising — Even though the early sunset may mean you can’t go running before dinner, you can still exercise indoors. Join a gym, go walk the mall, or do home workouts  to deter you from overeating out of exhaustion or boredom.

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