Spring Ahead: The Effects of Daylight Savings Time

It comes around two times a year, and the spring is when we dread it most: daylight savings time.

We bask in the joy of having that extra hour of sunlight during the winter. “When daylight savings comes around, I lose motivation to go to 6:05 p.m. classes, due to the sun and warm weather,” said senior business student, Taylor Carson.

While, we cower at the idea of losing that hour of sleep there is a silver lining. “I don’t like losing an hour of sleep, but I put up with it for an extra hour of daylight,” said senior business administration student, Jordan Maly.

Many struggle to get back on a healthy sleep schedule, and while an hour may not seem like much, it really does matter. For us college students, that is one less hour to finish homework, relax, and spend time with out family and friends.

“When the clocks go forward, it is so hard to readjust,” said a senior accounting student, Samantha Palumbo.

“I fall asleep later than usual, and wake up earlier and it just wears me out. It definitely makes paying attention harder,” Palumbo continued.

What many do not realize is the fact that our sleep patterns not only affect our energy level, but affect our mental and physical health as well. Those who consistently do not get enough sleep put themselves at risk for heart disease, stroke, depression, obesity, and many other harmful conditions.

Meanwhile, those who do get quality sleep are less likely to develop these conditions, and also have some added benefits. Sleep helps your brain ‘recharge’ in a sense, so those who take care in getting enough of it have better memories, can concentrate more easily, have lower stress levels, and most obviously, don’t feel tired all day.

This raises one major question: How can one readjust their sleep schedule when the clocks “spring forward”?

According to The National Sleep Foundation, seven to nine hours of sleep is necessary to feel well rested, and we should slowly tweak our schedules in order to get it. One thing to remember is that while sleeping in on weekends is tempting, it is not healthy. Instead, you should go to bed earlier and wake up at the same time you normally would.

While this may sound simple, falling asleep is what may be the hardest part for many. An article from CNN suggests: not eating anything a few hours before you plan on going to bed, putting your phone away, turning off the television, making your bedroom a cozy space, having a bedtime ritual, and journaling before bed. These simple tasks that may seem trivial are the key to getting quality sleep because they help you relax and prepare your body for sleep.

Daylight savings time might not be to blame for one’s lack of energy, but unhealthy sleep patterns usually cause a person to feel lethargic.

So, while getting used to the time change may seem impossible, it certainly is not. It takes pretty easy work to get the most rewarding result, a good night’s sleep. Scheduling a set time for bed and avoiding all-nighters will ultimately increase one’s energy and cure the effects of daylight savings time. Losing an hour doesn’t mean that we also have to lose our rest.