When we turn our clocks forward one hour in March, we lose an hour of sleep. This has always been the hardest time change for me to navigate.
Losing that hour of sleep can have health consequences.
- The number of heart attacks increases on the Monday after the spring time change.
- There are more workplace injuries on that Monday as compared to other work days.
- There is an uptick in traffic accidents on the Monday after we move our clocks forward.
I doubt any of this surprises you. A less serious, but annoying consequence could be a stall in your weight loss efforts. Sleep-deprivation increases cortisol and that will slow fat-loss.
If you have to be at work at 8 am on Monday, that’s going to feel like being there at 7 am – because it is 7 am with respect to the sunrise. It’s what 7 am looked like on the Friday morning a few days prior.
Here are 3 tips to make a successful transition after moving clocks ahead one hour:
Catch up on sleep before the time change. A few days before, start going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night and get up 15 minutes earlier the next morning. Get the same amount of sleep that you are used to, but gradually adjust it.
Keep your normal bedtime and routines. Use a sleep mask or blackout curtains if necessary.
Related: 15 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster
Get outside as soon as possible when the sun is up each morning. Avoid being outside later in the day when it is still light while you are transitioning to the time change.
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Hi! I’m Tammy! I was a busy, stressed, and unhealthy teacher until I decided to take control of my health. I did not become an athlete until I was in my 50’s.
I earned personal training and fitness nutrition certifications, then retired from teaching to dedicate my work life to fitness education for other busy women over 40.
My results are obviously not typical because most people don’t train to compete as a bodybuilder.
But I believe everyone can make positive changes with healthy habits! Each of us has a unique combination of strengths and challenges that need to be considered to customize a program that will work for us. Science-based principles, flexibility, and consistency make all the difference.