What can you do to offset the effects of daylight saving time?


To offset the effects of daylight saving time, it's beneficial to manage your exposure to light, as it significantly influences your circadian rhythms. Here are some specifics:

  • Exposure to Bright Light: Adjust the timing of bright light exposure to shift your sleep patterns. For delaying your circadian clock and staying awake later, expose yourself to bright light in the hour or two before your temperature minimum, making you inclined to sleep in later the following day. Conversely, if you need to shift your clock earlier, expose yourself to bright light in the hour or so immediately after your temperature minimum, prompting an earlier bedtime and wake-up time 1.

  • Morning Light: In the case of seasonal changes, extend your morning light exposure slightly as the days get shorter to offset the reduced daylight hours. This can also help you adjust to time changes due to daylight saving. If natural light isn't sufficient or available due to your location, consider using an artificial light source—not necessarily an expensive SAD lamp, but bright light from a drawing tablet or incandescent bulb 2.

  • Exercise and Eating Patterns: Exercise in the 4 hours after your temperature minimum to wake up earlier or before the temperature minimum to delay your clock. Align your meal times with the new schedule to help shift your internal clock 3. Adjusting your eating schedule to the new time zone or daylight saving adjustment can be part of the strategy to synchronize your body's timing cues 4.

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Remember, to find out your temperature minimum, pay attention to your most sleepy time before your natural wake-up. Adjusting your daily routines before and following the daylight saving changes can facilitate a smoother transition.

Would you like more detailed guidelines or additional measures to take?