If you woke up today feeling extra exhausted and groggy, it’s probably not just a case of the typical Monday blues. As you already know, Daylight Savings Time happened yesterday, March 11th, and it’s made pretty much everyone feel completely shot. Losing just one hour of the day may not sound like a lot, but it affects you more than you realize, and not just on the day it happens. If you’re reaching for your third cup of coffee so far, pause and learn how to actually rebound from the horrible Daylight Savings crash you’re experiencing.
Springing ahead by losing an hour of your day is, at this point, considered an outdated practice that many wish would just end already. Daylight Savings can mess up your internal clock for days, leaving you feeling off-balance and sleepy no matter how much rest you get. And it’s not just in your head! The National Sleep Foundation says that, on average, people sleep 40 minutes less than their normal amount the night following the change.
The effects of that loss of sleep are apparent on Monday, the day you really need to get it together for work or school. A Penn State study found that on the day after Daylight Savings, employees tend to spend more time than usual doing things online that are completely unrelated to their job (a practice charmingly referred to as “cyberloafing”).
Another study found that workplace injuries are more common the Monday after Daylight Savings.
Yikes! Luckily, there are some things you can do that will help you get through this extra tough Monday — and maybe even be a little bit productive while you’re at it.
1. Get outside.
There are tons of ancient rituals and spiritual meanings surrounding Daylight Savings Time — it’s the beginning of a new season, and it’s all about the light. So, to get through your exhaustion, let some extra sunlight into your life. For the next few days, open your blinds wide to let light into your room as you wake up (even if it feels harsh!) and try to get outside when you can. Take a short walk and enjoy the sunshine — it will help wake you up and make you feel a bit more energized, and honestly, it’s also just nice to feel that warmth on your skin.
2. Go to bed at your usual time.
When you’re adjusting to a time change, it’s normal to feel either extra sleepy — enough to want to go to bed early — or to feel wide awake and end up going to bed late. While this can be hard to control, try to keep your normal bedtime routine, even if it feels a little weird.
Go to bed at the time you normally would — so, if you usually fall asleep at 11 p.m., don’t think, “Well, it’s actually 10, so I can stay up another hour.” It’s actually 11, so go to bed!
3. Don’t take a nap.
If you’re having trouble keeping your eyes open, your instinct might be to take a nap in the afternoon. Try to avoid that. Since you’re so tired, you might end up in a deep, long sleep, which will totally throw off your sleep cycle. And napping like that in the middle of the day might make you feel even more groggy. If you need to, get some shut-eye for about 15 minutes, then force yourself to keep going.
4. Avoid anything that might make you stay up later.
Remember, you want to keep your normal bedtime. So during the afternoon, you should be focused on not doing anything that is going to keep you up super late. Don’t have any caffeine after about 3 p.m., avoid screens (like your phone, tablet, and television) one hour before you’re supposed to fall asleep (seriously, do this!), and maybe reconsider that glass of wine, as alcohol can actually make you sleep worse.
5. Get some exercise.
If you’re feeling super groggy and exhausted throughout the day, try doing a little bit of exercise. It might sound laughable, but getting yourself moving can actually wake you up and make you feel more energized. Even if it’s just taking a walk around the block, it could be beneficial.
And remember, you might find yourself feeling extra tired and off-balance most of the week, so keep these tips in mind. Good luck out there!