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  • feedwordpress 16:40:29 on 2016/11/03 Permalink
    Tags: Daylight Saving Time, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Want to Get an Extra Hour in Your Day? Use the End of Daylight Saving Time. 


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    daylight-saving-time

    For Better Than Before, my book about habit change,  when I talked to people about the habits they want to change, they often mention that they lack the time for a new habit.

    To clear time to schedule a new morning habit, many people try waking up a bit earlier, but this can be tough for people who struggle to get out of bed.

    One trick? Use the autumn end to Daylight Saving Time on November 6 as a painless way to add an extra hour to the morning. (Obviously this only works if you live in a place that follows DST.) Getting up earlier is a great way to make time for something important to you.

    We all love to “fall back” and to get that extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning. It’s a great boon to get a little extra sleep. In fact, car accidents and heart attacks are more common in the week after Daylight Saving Time starts, because losing that hour puts stress on people’s bodies.

    On the other hand, the autumn change means earlier darkness, and that poses safety challenges for pedestrians and drivers.

    But while you may love that extra hour of sleep, consider not sleeping in, but instead get up after your customary amount of sleep. Your body is getting up as usual, but the clock will say that you’re up an hour early.  And there’s a lot you can do with that hour–especially if the people around you are still sound asleep.

    Remember, when it comes to habits, it’s easier to change your surroundings than to change yourself or other people. It’s easier to get in the habit of waking up earlier by getting up at the same time, when the clock changes, than to train yourself to get up earlier.

    A reader commented: “A couple years ago I decided not to reset my clock at the end of daylight savings. I suddenly had writing/exercise time.”

    You could use that time to do something like exercise or work on a project–or maybe you want to use it for pure pleasure. I have a friend who wakes up early to read for fun.

    The morning is a great time to form a regular habit, because self- control is high, there are fewer distractions, and it’s highly predictable.

    NOTE: This system wouldn’t work for true “owls” who stay up late and sleep late. Night people are at their most productive, energetic, and creative later in the day, and mornings are tough for them. But for many people, it’s possible to make a very satisfying use of that hour.

    ALSO NOTE: If you try this strategy, you must also go to sleep earlier! It’s so, so, so important to get enough sleep, and if you lose an hour in the morning, you need to gain that time in sleep. (Here are some tips for getting yourself to go to bed on time.)

    The question is: where would you rather have the hour? At the end of the day, or at the start of the day?

    Most people would use those slots in very different ways.  The hour of 7:00-8:00 am looks very different from the hour of 11:00-mindnight. Which hour would contribute the most to your happiness?

    If you suddenly had an extra hour in your day, how would you use it? Have you ever used this method–or any other–to shift your waking time?

    The post Want to Get an Extra Hour in Your Day? Use the End of Daylight Saving Time. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:08:52 on 2016/03/11 Permalink
    Tags: Daylight Saving Time, , , , , , ,   

    Daylight Saving Time! How to Survive the Loss of an Hour of Sleep. 


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    day light savings time tips

    There’s a very helpful Daylight Saving Time mnemonic: “spring forward, fall back.”

    This Sunday, we “spring forward” and turn our clocks ahead one hour — which means losing an hour of sleep. And for many of us, each hour of sleep is precious.

    So what can you do to offset that loss? My book Better Than Before has lots of ideas about forming habits — including habits related to sleep.

    1. Use the Strategy of First Steps.

    There’s a magic to starting, to taking that first step. Often, it helps to have some kind of external prompt, or a cultural milestone, to remind us to take a first step. Like a New Year’s resolution, a cue like Daylight Saving Time makes a good time to start a new sleep habit.  You could start new better sleep habits at any time, of course, but Daylight Saving Time is a good prompt. For instance…

    2. Give yourself a bedtime.

    Many adults don’t have an official bedtime; they just go to bed when they feel “tired.” But it’s so easy to keep ourselves jacked up on sugar, caffeine, office email, or binge-watching TV, so we don’t feel tired, even though we belong in bed. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep. Do the math and give yourself an official bedtime. That way, you know, “Well, it’s 11:00 p.m., I’m up thirty minutes past my bedtime.” It helps.

    3. Consider setting an alarm to mark your bedtime.

    You probably set an alarm to help you to wake up; so set an alarm to help you go to bed. Often, we just need a reminder that “Oh, yeah, it’s about time for me to turn off the light.” You might even want to set a true “snooze” alarm, a fifteen-minute alarm that reminds you that it’s almost bedtime. We often give children warnings that bedtime is approaching, but grown-ups also need transitions.

    4. Consider getting ready for bed well before your bedtime.

    This really helps me. I realized that often, I was so tired that I couldn’t face changing my clothes, brushing my teeth, washing my face, etc., so I just kept staying up. Not exactly a rational response. Now I try to get ready for bed well before I intend to get in bed. Huge bonus:  brushing my teeth really helps me to quit night-snacking. I’d heard this advice before, but it seemed too easy to be effective. To my astonishment, it works really well.

    5. Sleep really matters.

    Sleep affects mood, memory, immune function, self-control — lack of sleep even contributes to weight gain. In fact, sleep is so important that in Better Than Before, sleep is part of the Strategy of Foundation, along with exercise, eat and drink right, and unclutter. Good sleep is at the foundation of good habits.

    How about you? Have you found some strategies to cope with the loss of that hour of sleep — and to help yourself get more sleep, generally?

    The post Daylight Saving Time! How to Survive the Loss of an Hour of Sleep. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
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