Every March people in most of the United States & Canada and a few other countries Spring Forward. This means that in March the time moves ahead by an hour. This year this occurs on Sunday, March 12th at 2am and usually in November it goes back an hour. Although that may change in Fall of 2023, because the Senate has approved legislation to make Daylight Savings Time (DST) permanent, it has yet to pass in the House; so be on the look out and monitor discussion on this topic to see what happens before or come November 2023. As of last week, March 3rd, the Sunshine Protection Act of 2023 has been reintroduced.
What is Daylight Savings Time (DST)?
Daylight savings time is an alteration in time by an hour in either the direction of springing forward in March or falling backward in November. In March, the time moves ahead by an hour during the second Sunday of the month. In November, the time goes back by an hour during the first weekend of the month; this occurrence at these times has been in place since 2005, before that this would occur in April and October. Daylight-savings as we now know it to be may change again in Fall of 2023, since the Sunshine Protection Act has been approved by the Senate. Everyone is now waiting to see what the House will do.
As of today, Hawaii and most of Arizona do not observe Daylight Savings Time. The custom is also not observed in American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Spring Forward Impact:
We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep all the time; yet many do not do so for some reason or another. Moving the clock forward throws the circadian rhythm off, causing even more issues for those who have problems sleeping. The circadian rhythm is physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things, including animals, plants, and microbes, according to the NIH. Having the time go ahead has been linked to many detrimental health concerns like insomnia, stroke, heart attacks, car accidents, mood swings, suicide, erratic behaviors, and the list goes on and on.
Tips to help you Spring Forward with Ease:
· Lighten Your Load
o Plan to have a light schedule on Sunday through at least Thursday to help you get adjusted to the time change. Make Sunday a time out day to relax or do nothing and be fine with that; especially if you must work on Monday.
o Request a schedule change if need be. Take some time, a half a day, a mental health day or self-care day if you need to. The goal is to rejuvenate the body, the days after the time change happens to lessen the load as much as possible. This will be helpful in alleviating stress too.
o Avoid traveling long distances; especially if you are going to be the driver. If you are traveling by any other form of transportation in which you are not driving, go for it; but be mindful of how the person in control of the plane, train, bus, car service may feel as well. Show compassion and gratitude, pray for them and yourself before, during, and after traveling. Time change can be harder for some than others, being conscious of this is helpful when interacting with people because you will be more empathetic.
· Test Run
o Plan to take it easy on the Friday & Saturday before the change so that you do not feel exhausted or overwhelmed.
o Go to bed one to two hours earlier on Friday & Saturday prior to springing ahead.
o If you must take a nap, do so early in the day and for no more than 30 minutes. An extended long nap can lead to sleep disruption at bedtime.
o Since sunshine fights depression, get more of it today and the following week(s) to help ease back into a comfortable sleep pattern. Sunshine is quite beneficial to most people, allowing them to feel happier throughout the day. So, get up early and get some naturals rays first thing in the morning. For those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder or seasonal depression (SAD) avoid taking naps for longer than an hour or two, so that you can get a good night’s rest in the evening and wake-up rejuvenated.
· Eat Light
o Avoid foods that may give you acid reflux.
o Avoid eating until you are full; leave room for something else; but eat no more. Go for a piece of mint or a lozenge instead of more food.
o Fast after 6pm until rising in the morning each day especially if you plan to go to bed by 8pm or 9pm; just for a few days before and about 3 or so days after the time change. Your skin and body will thank you dearly for this change during this adjustment. 😊
· Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine
o Alcohol consumption makes one feel like they have jet-lag and it messes with deep sleep to the point one may have a hard time getting a good night's sleep for about a week or more when the time changes.
o Caffeine is a stimulant that often messes with the circadian rhythm. Avoid caffeine after breakfast today and limit it to no more than two cups before noon until next Wednesday or Thursday to help get your system back. The reduction of caffeine will help with the daylight-saving time transition.
· Blue Lights
o As you prepare for DST, don’t forget to turn off the computer, laptop, tablet, night light, TV, Wi-fi, all technology that emit blue lights that may be around you 15 to 30 minutes prior to bedtime (going to sleep). Blue light tends to suppress the secretion of melatonin which leads to a good night’s rest.
o Keep your sleeping space as dark as possible when you want to sleep.
o Upon rising open the blinds, curtains, shades and let the natural light shine in on you.
Stay Tune for Daylight Savings Time Changes:
A bill by the name of the Sunshine Protection Act, has been passed in Senate to make daylight savings time permanent by Fall of 2023 for all states, however, the bill has yet to be passed in the House, so stay tuned or be on the look out to see what will happen come November of 2023. This will mean from November to March, the sun won’t come up until about 8am or so instead of 6am, but the hours of daylight will be longer most of the year. Advocates claim that it will make for suffer environments, less accidents and improved lifestyle all around. Keep your eyes and ears open to learn more about the changes that will be happening rather quickly since November is right around the corner.
*If confirmed by all in Congress the Sunshine Protection Act of 2023, will make daylight saving time the new, permanent standard time, effective November 5, 2023. States with areas exempt from daylight saving time may choose the standard time for those areas.
Daylight Savings Time is coming soon, you will lose an hour of sleep; plan for it to avoid anything seriously harmful happening to you or others. You are in control of how outside situations impact your health to a large extent, knowing this don’t over exert yourself over the next couple of days. Take things easy and don’t put more on you than need be.
Are you with keeping DST year round or do you prefer to keep things the same? What is your stance? Why?
Alcohol’s Interactions With Circadian Rhythms: Retrieved on 5.31.22 from:
Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: A randomized controlled trial. Retrieved on 5.31.22 from:
Circadian Rhythms: NIH (National Institute of General Medical Sciences) Retrieved on 5.22.22 from
Sunshine Protection Act Fact Sheet: Daylight Saving Time vs. Standard Time: Retrieved on 5.31.22 from:
Daylight Saving Time: An American Academy of Sleep Medicine: Retrieved on 05.22.22 from: