It’s almost here.
The most dreaded day of the year, for some. Daylight Saving returns this Sunday, the day when the country collectively loses that precious hour as we slumber in our beds.
We’re a busy people, so that’s a coveted hour, even more so when you put it in the context of sleep. More than 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder, and only two-thirds are getting enough rest at night, valued at seven hours or more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Take those Sleepy McSleepersons and put them behind the wheel (71 million of them, by the way), and that hour becomes even more crucial. Chances of a crash double with anything under those seven hours. The blame for up to 6,000 fatal crashes a year lies with exhausted drivers.
It goes without saying we need to be prioritizing rest. But how to conquer that extra hurdle that is Daylight Saving Time? We’ve put together a few tips to better prepare for that 60-minute deficit so, come Monday morning … bright-eyed, bushy tailed and all that.
1) Start early. Don’t save up all that deprivation for quite literally the last minute. Spend the weekend acclimating to the change. Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than usual on Saturday, then again on Sunday (taking into account the change that happens at 2 a.m. that night). That way, when Monday rolls around, you’ll roll out of bed a little easier.
2) Get moving. Exercise can help your internal clock with the time adjustment, says WebMD. But don’t go too easy. A moderate to rigorous activity will achieve the best results.
3) Get some sun – if there is any. Take advantage of any parting of the clouds this weekend and spend some time outside. Just like exercise, the sun helps your adaptation to the change. A walk outside gets you the Vitamin D you need, and takes care of the exercise component, too!
4) Wake up at the same time every day. This one’s a toughy. It’s practically an American tradition to sleep in on weekends, but it sends you off-course for the rest of your week. You’re setting yourself up for failure – and dangerous driving – any time of the year.
5) Pull over if you’re tired. Last but certainly not least, if you’ve bungled the other four suggestions, please, don’t drive. There’s a myriad of options available these days to get you where you need to go – public transportation, a carpool, a ride-sharing service, a friend or family member. Or you can simply opt to get some more rest before heading to your destination. It’s not worth the risk to you and your fellow drivers out on the road.
Sweet dreams, everyone!