Daylight savings ruining your life? Shorten Your Morning Routine

Spring daylight savings just ruined my week. I know that it comes around every year, but this time it hurt. Really, really bad. Maybe I have blocked it out of my mind year after year because this year seemed the worst ever.

The Monday morning after daylight savings, my alarm pierced through my dreams and rattled my brain. It took me an extra hour and a half (past my regular waking up time if daylight savings did not exist) to finally pull myself out of bed and roll into work.

And the mishaps kept continuing. All throughout the day, what could go wrong did go wrong. It was a comedy of errors, except I was not laughing.

A co-worker of mine who works in the mental health industry has an interesting idea. Her theory is that the moon affects behavior. Every time a rash of things go wrong at work, sure enough, it is around the full moon. Her theory extends even further that daylight savings messes with people as well.

And the studies seem to be true. The Monday following daylight savings time in the spring has more traffic accidents than normal. A coincidence? I think not. Health professionals are cautious to start blaming things on the moon, tide or cosmos, but merely shrug it off as another danger of sleep-deprived driving.

It does not really matter which you believe, daylight savings will come twice a year whether you want it to or not. But you can minimize the suffering immensely.

First, the week before daylight savings start going to bed earlier. While an hour does not seem like a lot of time, it really affects the rhythms in your body when you get off schedule. Gradually going to bed earlier and waking up earlier will help reduce the initial shock of losing sleep. It can take over a week for your body to regain the lost sleep from just one night, so don’t make the switch cold turkey.

Even if you follow the advice above, you could find yourself in for a rough morning. For me, that is almost a kill shot. I already have rough mornings on a daily basis (yes, every morning for me is rough) so daylight savings is misery. But I have learned a few tricks for shortening my morning routine to help me sleep longer and make it to work on time.

One of the biggest time sucks is getting ready for the day. Showering is quick but doing my hair can take almost an hour from start to finish (time to air dry, blow dry and straighten). To make my routine a snap I shower the night before and dry my hair. After a quick shower without washing hair in the morning, if needed, I just gave myself an hour of sleep.

Next I lay out what I want to wear and prepare my breakfast and lunch for the following day. This simple idea of getting ready the night before saves me on daylight savings AND the other 364 days of the year.


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