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Despite best efforts to end it, Daylight Savings Time begins in most states March 10; some tips on coping

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Despite efforts to end it, daylight saving time begins in most states on March 10; having an adjustment plan helps

U.S. states are still trying to decide if daylight saving time is a needed ritual, reports Claire Moses of The New York Times. “Oregon’s state senate failed to advance a bill that would have abolished daylight saving time in most of the state. . . . In Idaho this week, a bill was introduced to get rid of daylight saving time, and there is a similar bill in front of California’s Assembly.”

Although many Americans feel daylight saving time is a nuisance or even harmful, the practice has been hard to uproot.

“According to polls over the years, most Americans don’t like changing the clocks twice a year, and the days after the switch can be a turbulent time for public health,” Moses writes. “Daylight saving time still has some supporters, especially among business advocates who argue it helps bolster the economy.”

Debates aside, most states still observe daylight savings time, with 2024’s spring switch on Sunday, March 10. Studies show the days following the spring bump forward an hour are riddled with short-term increased risks of heart attacks, stroke, traffic accidents, emergency room visits, and mood disturbances,” reports Eric Suni for the Sleep Foundation. “A lack of sleep caused by the time change can affect thinking, decision-making, and productivity.”

Follow the suggestions for avoiding DST drowsiness. (File photo)

Preparation can help mitigate some of the risks and health struggles caused by moving our clocks an hour ahead. “These problems arise because the switch to and from daylight saving time alters your normal pattern of daylight exposure,” Suni explains. “This change can throw off your body’s circadian rhythm, the internal clock that helps control sleep and many other biological processes. Developing a plan to cope with the time change can reduce its impact on your sleep and overall wellness.”

Suni’s coping plan suggestions:

• During the week of the time change (next week), move your wake-up time a bit earlier, inching toward your new “wake-up” hour. Move exercise and meal time as you gradually change your schedule.

• Get the best and the most sleep you can in the days before March 10. Meditation and relaxation techniques may help you go to bed earlier and still sleep well.

• Before heading to bed on March 9, move your watches and clocks ahead an hour. That way, you’ll wake up at the correct time, which can prevent morning frustrations like showing up to brunch an hour late.

• Once you’ve “sprung” forward, do your best to get the most sunlight possible. More sunlight will help your internal clock reset to the new time.

• Should you need help to adjust to the change, don’t pack your schedule on the week following March 10. Avoid long drives, and consider sneaking in a nap. Eat a healthy diet and avoid caffeine products in the evening.

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