You hear that dreadful noise coming through your dream. That constant and annoying sound that just keeps going on and on. You struggle to make sense of the repetition and slowly your mind sharpens to the point that you can make out that the irritation is your alarm clock going off. You reach an arm out from under your warm cocoon and are startled by the frigid air. Fumbling around, you finally locate the snooze button and quickly draw your hand back under the protection of the warm covers. You snuggle back down into your comfortably warm cloud and float back into the world of tranquility. You are just getting back to your pleasant dream when the peace is broken by that blaring noise again. You repeat this process for the next thirty minutes in nine minute intervals before you finally yield to the electronic pest.
In case you’re always wide awake and chipper in the mornings, here is an example of what the morning process may be like for the rest of the world:
Mornings are difficult for a lot of people. According to one study, 45% of Americans wake up still tired multiple times a week. For much of the world, the week ahead will compound the problem, as over 70 countries (or parts of them) will be losing an hour of sleep because of the start of Daylight Saving Time.
To be able to make as easy a transition as possible, try the following ideas:
- Prepare in advance – Instead of pushing your limits every night, establish the time you need to go to bed in order to get at least 7 hours of sleep (some people need more). Make a point of getting in bed at a regular time every evening. Even better, next year circle the date 6 weeks prior to the start of Daylight Saving Time. Each week go to bed 10 minutes earlier than the week before. By the end of the period you will be getting an hour more than you used to get, so your body won’t be as shocked by the drastic reduction in sleep.
- Don’t Snooze – As tempting as that nine extra minutes may seem, don’t hit your snooze button. This little bit of time can’t possibly get you back into the deep sleep your body is craving. It is better to calculate how much time you actually need in the morning to get ready and then sleep right up to the time you need to get up. An extra half hour added onto your sleep total will benefit you more than 3 wake-sleep cycles during that same time period.
- Wind Down – Set the hour leading up to bedtime each night as a detox time from the day’s hustle and bustle. Dim the lights, slow down your movements, and try to reduce or eliminate the electronic glare from mobile phones, computer screens, and televisions. Pick a favorite book to read, write an old-fashioned letter to a friend, or listen to soothing music instead of the blue light alternatives. You can also get eyewear now that blocks much of the blue light electronics give off. It may helpful if you can already be changed into your pajamas and have much of your nighttime preparations done prior to the start of the final hour before bedtime. That way as your body relaxes you won’t have to stimulate it again in the process of getting ready for bed.
- Resist stimulants – Speaking of stimulants, don’t try to make up for your reduced sleep by increasing your caffeine intake. Even though it may temporarily make you feel more awake, it cannot replace sleep.
There are many other things you can try to get your blood moving, like opening the shades to give your mind a clue that it is time to wake up, drinking a nice cold glass of water to increase your hydration and give you more energy, or going for a brisk early morning walk or run.
If all else fails and you can’t stop yawning, check out the ten fun facts about Daylight Saving Time at http://mentalfloss.com/article/88302/10-fascinating-facts-about-daylight-saving-time. Although I knew a couple of the facts, I definitely learned a thing or two. Maybe once you read them, your mouth won’t be able to form a yawn because it will be too busy laughing.