Daylight Savings Time Begins March 13th. Yes, I know. Why are we still doing this, when studies have shown that it doesn’t help, but harm our health? The debate continues. Also congratulations if you live where DST is not followed.
On March 13th, at 2:00 AM, the clocks move forward one hour. This means minus one hour of sleep. (Boooo to that!) I want to help you have an easier time through the transition. Some may say “it’s just one hour”, or “we do it every year” so it’s not a big deal. If you are reading this, I suspect that you feel differently and want to maximize your health and healing as much as possible. Good! Keep reading…
While losing one hour of sleep is common for most, that is simplifying things a bit much. I won’t get into the physical effects of DST because there are resources* available for those of you who are interested in reading further.
What I will do here is share my recommendations for a smoother transition. I will remind you that (I am not a doctor) these recommendations are based on my personal experience and practices, as well as my studies of Kundalini Yoga, meditation, Reiki, Sound Healing, sleep, and all kinds of life improving wisdom, to put it simply.
The following recommendations are beneficial on a daily basis, not just before DST. Begin to adapt these now in order to create a cumulative effect.
Alternate nostril breathing. Practice for 3 minutes in the morning, 3 minutes at noon or early afternoon, 3 minutes in the evening or before bedtime. This simple breathing exercise will help balance the nervous system, and reduce stress and anxiety. In this short video I show you how to practice this easy exercise.
Lower exposure to bright and LED lights, specially after sundown. Artificial light lowers the brain’s ability to create melatonin, the precious hormone that makes us sleepy. Two to three hours prior to going to bed (at least one hour), you want to put away the devices (phone, tablet, laptop, TV). Better light sources are (dimmed) red light, incandescent or candle light. Instead of staring at your phone or tablet, how about listening to an audio book or relaxing music? If you prefer to read a book, that’s great! Just check your light source and switch to a lamp that has a dimmer on it. More in resources below.
Go for a walk. If you are able to take a walk outside (safely), do this a couple of hours before bedtime. Even if it’s just 5 minutes, it helps! Please resist the urge to stare at your phone while you do this.
Take a warm bath or shower before bedtime, or simply wash your feet in warm water.
Meditate. You knew this one was coming, right? The goal of meditation is not to stop the flow of thoughts (that’s impossible), but to get to a point where the thoughts don’t control you, and you can just observe them and let them flow, like leaves floating down a creek. Furthermore, there are countless guided meditations available in audio form, and apps, many free of cost. Pick one that makes it easy for you. I usually recommend meditation for a minimum of 3 minutes, but one minute is better than zero. One way I meditate at night is by listening to relaxing frequencies. I love some of the free livestreams available on YouTube. The catch is that many have commercials which interrupt the stream, but there are still some that are commercial-free.
Lastly, on the night of March 12th, go to bed at least an hour earlier than usual. Plan it ahead of time if necessary. Make it an event for all in the household if that helps. You could call it the “Saving Dreamtime Event”! After a warm shower/bath, everyone can sit together and practice alternate nostril breathing while listening to some relaxing tunes before bed.
To be honest, there are many more ideas that can be added to this article. You probably already have some helpful ones of your own, and if they are working well for you, I hope you keep doing them. Sometimes it’s also good to change things up as well. I wanted to keep it simple and so I narrowed it down to just a few, impactful practices. As always, please reach out with any questions or suggestions. Below are some resources for further reading.
Thank you for being here.
Measurable Health Effects Associated with the Daylight Saving Time Shift: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32511231/
How Blue Light Affects Your Sleep: https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-blue-light
The Benefits of Meditation: https://news.mit.edu/2011/meditation-0505