Daylight Saving Time ended last weekend and while we are still adjusting to the darker evenings, consider this:
We have a golden opportunity here.
We can fix two problems in one fell swoop: the problem of getting to bed too late and the problem of not having enough time in the morning.
Many people struggle to get to sleep at a reasonable time.
Getting to bed may not be the issue.
Often we get into bed early enough, but then we watch TV or answer emails or play Candy Crush. It’s amazing how time flies with screen time and before you know it one or two hours have passed and we are getting to sleep too late.
Basic sleep hygiene, including a bedtime routine, helps you fall asleep faster and easier. That includes turning off all electronic devices at least a half hour before going to sleep. Using the bed only for sleeping (i.e. not as your place to watch TV or read or, heaven-forbid, eat). And semi-ritualizing how you get ready for bed by changing, cleaning up and calming down in a similar way each night. These components together trigger your body to slow down and recognize it is time for sleep.
So, thanks to the end of Daylight Saving Time, if you have been trying to get to sleep by 10pm but only ever seem to do so by 11:00pm—now is your chance!
Your body will think it is 11 when the clock reads 10. Use it to your advantage and start going to sleep at 10.
That would mean starting your routine around 9:30, getting into bed at 9:45 and falling asleep at 10.
For many of us the 10:00pm to 11:00pm hour is less productive than the 6:00am to 7:00am hour.
So if your new body clock has you up an hour earlier (you will be refreshed since you also went to sleep an hour earlier—see above :) you have access to a fully productive hour. What to do with this new found time?
I have a few suggestions.
Did you know that well over half of people check their smartphones upon waking?
That can lead to social media rabbit holes and email briar patches.
It lets the external world dictate the tone of your day.
Instead try any sort of centering technique so that you create an intentional day for yourself.
Journaling, prayer, gratitude, breath work, spiritual reading, meditation, or affirmations each can set the tone for a day full of calmer focus.
And it does not have to take long.
Even 5 minutes upon waking makes a world of difference. Pick the one that sounds right for you and give it a go tomorrow morning. You will be hooked.
Movement is another practice you can add to your newfound hour in the morning. Stretching, yoga, walking in nature, going to the gym all can have you feeling amazing and accomplished before you officially start your day.
Crafting your day so you feel energized instead of stumbling into it eyes and mind half shut increases the odds for a fabulous day.
Your fabulous day.
So with the end of Daylight Saving Time we can get to sleep earlier AND jump-start a morning routine.