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Avoid the "Body Clock Shock": Tips for Surviving Daylight Savings

Avoid the "Body Clock Shock": Tips for Surviving Daylight Savings

Written By: Kate Finkelston on November 07, 2017

Updated July 2020

Every fall we prepare ourselves to “fall back” with daylight savings. We jump for joy each November when we gain that precious hour back. Even though you’re gaining sleep, the time change can throw a wrench in your routine and give your body clock a shock.

When the clocks reset in November, it always feels like our days are shorter, but in reality, our days are just starting earlier. With this in mind, it might be easier for some to stay on the schedule their body is used to, rather than adjusting to the clocks. So instead of waking up at 7 am, try waking up at 6 am – your body is already used to this timing and for those that struggle in the mornings, this might be a simple fix.

For the night owls of the world, this change may be easier said than done. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks so you can get your day started earlier and enjoy that extra hour of daylight:

  1. Work out in the morning. Being active in the mornings is a great way to get your day started. When you’re first starting your day, your willpower stores are at their highest which will lead to a productive and efficient workout. Additionally, working out in the morning will give you an extra shot of energy to carry you through the day ahead.
  2. Practice good sleep hygiene. It’s all about going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. If you can get your body on a consistent sleep schedule, your mornings will be more enjoyable and painless.
  3. Power down. Make that extra hour in the mornings an “electronic-free” hour. Try to not check your phone until you are done with your morning routine – your phone will only distract and slow you down. Also, by spending some time before bed “off the grid” you will have an overall better sleep. There have been studies demonstrating how staring at bright screens on devices just before bed can impair sleep.
  4. Pile on the protein. We’ve all heard countless times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and this is still true! However, it’s just as important to include protein in your breakfast. Starting your day with protein helps regulate weight, stave off food cravings, and energize you for the morning. If you have questions or concerns about your diet, you can speak with a nutritionist on Amwell today.
  5. Hydrate right away. While coffee and other caffeinated drinks in the morning are useful and delicious, it ends up being a temporary crutch and over time loses its effectiveness. Get yourself on a routine where you wake up and take a few gulps of water as soon as you get up. Hydrating yourself first thing in the morning will give you an added boost and get you moving.
  6. Write a to-do list. Your mornings are the perfect time to decide what is on the agenda for the day. Set your intentions for the day and make a plan – for some, creating a plan is the only motivation needed to conquer the day.
  7. Stretch or meditate. After a long night of slumber, your body has been relaxed for hours. Jumping right out of bed and being active can be harsh on your body. Take your time – roll over, do a few stretches in bed, grab some water or coffee and meditate/self-reflect before your day starts. If your muscles tighten up throughout the day, this tip could fix this.
  8. See a sleep therapist on Amwell. If you’re still having trouble adjusting your sleep schedule, we have sleep therapists available to help you.

The time change affects everyone in different ways. If this years’ time change has affected you in a negative way, try out our tips and tricks for an overall better sleep and morning experience. If you need to see a sleep therapist or other provider on Amwell, we are always here for you.