Even though it happens every year, spring forward and fall back can still leave you feeling out of sorts. As a result, your circadian cycle also goes out of whack. Given a choice between the two, it seems infinitely better to set the clock back an hour than move the hands up an hour. For with the former, you gain an hour of sleep at night as opposed to losing an hour.
That said, even though with fall back you get treated to an extra hour in bed, it comes at the cost of darker evenings. The whole transition still takes some getting used to and there are some coping mechanisms you can try out. These will help you to deal with the time change easier.
Wake up at your regular time on Sunday
Most people cherish the extra hour to stay up late and sleep in some more. However, sleeping through the morning sunlight can catch up with you by the time evening comes. And this can make you feel out of sync before the work week starts. You need your circadian cycle to be in sync. This works basically with sunlight, which acts as a signal for your sleep-wake cycle. If your sleep-wake pattern and the light-dark cycles don’t line up, you will feel the effects.
Use a sunrise clock
In the morning, you get used to the sound of the bleating alarm clock ringing inside your head until you reluctantly get out of bed. This can change with a new installment to your bedroom, a sunrise clock. Quite like your ordinary clock, this one works the same, only with a lot less noise. True, it still does wield the sound option, but these sounds are more natural and calming rather than irritating.
What a sunrise clock does is get into action about an hour or so before the designated time of wake up. 30-60 minutes before your wake up time, it will start lighting up. It will imitate the way the sun rises and lightens the sky. It will steadily get brighter, filling the room with light until it reaches full brightness which you’ll wake up to.
The process is very natural and calming and helps wake you up naturally. There are many models such as wall mounted, tilt-able and color changing that you can choose from. They can also provide light throughout the day for reading or work.
Switch to happy lights
A sunrise clock is a soothing way to wake up in the morning. Likewise, there are also lights that you can apply around the house to keep you from falling behind on productivity throughout the day.
A “happy light” (seriously what they are called, and available on Amazon), can have a huge impact on the way you perceive your day. These lights also tend to imitate the vibrant and welcoming rays of the sun without exposing you to UV rays. They are very beneficial to your health as they can improve your mood. They can also better your sleeping schedule and generally impact the quality of your day.
You can station these all around your house or even in the office. They will let you enjoy sunlight, artificial as it is, while carrying out the rest of your day.
Stick to routine
So the factor of lighting is important in maintaining productivity. Your mind interacts positively to the light and your body takes this as a signal to get ready for action.
When you pair this up with routine, you have a winning formula on hand. Your mental and physical personas work much more efficiently when you run on a set schedule. Day to day, there are going to be a few fluctuations. You may experience changes in the set cycle you have, but the familiar concept remains. An effective way to better your productivity is to steady your routine. This in some cases, may rely on technology.
IOT refers to the internet of things, a system that can connect all your devices together. Some may see it as a sophisticated method of keeping track of all your customizable electronics. For this, you can use your computer or portable personal device. Even your home security system will work. You can program your home to work on a timed computer reading so everything gets done.
Customizable electronics such as coffee makers and stoves can be applied to the said idea. Your coffee can be ready for you before you wake up. The stove can be already set at the precise temperature when you put your breakfast or dinner on. And in advanced options bathtubs can turn on and off so you have your bath prepped and ready for you.
Take some help from supplements
While sunlight syncs the body during the day, melatonin does so at night. This is a hormone that activates receptors which prepare the body for sleep. Darkness causes the body to produce more melatonin while light decreases melatonin production. Taking some melatonin later on in the day can help coordinate the sleep-wake cycle with the light-dark one.
Or you could go the vitamin D way and take daytime supplements to keep your mood up. And alongside with it, your productivity.
It may take a couple of days to feel one hundred percent, but do give it some time. The body will eventually get used to the new cycle and you can help it get there by following these simple tips. Lighting, timing, and a little effort can truly make a difference in the way you wake up to the day.