Adjust Your Body to Daylight Savings

If you’re in the US, the clocks “fell back” over the weekend to mark the end of Daylight Saving Time.

If you were up late, you may have used the “extra hour” as an excuse to keep having fun. Maybe you slept right through it and didn’t notice. Or maybe you were excited to use that extra hour to get a bit more sleep.

No matter what you did, see if you can remember how it felt this morning. How’d you notice that “extra” hour after you woke up? Did it affect your daily rituals? Do you feel more energized or less?

These are all possible experiences and the changes might be too subtle to notice right now. But something is different, and it’ll get real obvious that first time you walk outside and the sun is already setting shockingly early.

That’s because the clocks may have changed, but your body is still an hour ahead of them. Your circadian rhythm doesn’t just “fall back” an hour at the press of a button. It’ll take a couple days for the new light cycle to sink in and match up with our new version of measured time. So while it’s only an imaginary hour, it’s worth taking some small conscious steps in the next few days to help your body adjust.

Tonight, you can try something easy: just notice when the sun goes down. Even better, watch the sunset with friends or loved ones. But just noticing that the sun is setting is enough to start. You might only have time to take a quick peek out the office window as it’s becoming dusk. That’s good enough; just notice when the sun goes down and how that feels.

This sounds simple, but simply orienting to the natural light cycle by bringing your attention to it is helpful. After you do that, think about adjustments you can make to your day to match the earlier darkness. Do you have to change your errands, daily practices, or meeting times with people? Do you notice an intuitive desire to dim the lights, quiet your environment, or get closer to loved ones?

Start with that, and I’ll share a few more easy tweaks this week.

And if the sun is already down while you’re reading this, try it tomorrow.

If you want to learn more about this, you can find it in my new book, The 4 Season Solution.

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One Comment

  • Diana M Hunter-Carlson

    I did not feel good when the time was set back, got up my regular time, but it really wasn’t. I lost a complete day due to feeling off!

    I am reviewing The 4 Season Solution (I pretty much read it most of the day and perfect timing with the clocks changing). Amazing that someone put into print, what I have been thinking for the last 10 years – why hasn’t anyone else felt the seasonal changes like I do? Great read, still learning and reading. Thanks Dallas.

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