The autumn equinox has come and gone and, as we turn back the clock for daylight savings time we begin to notice that the days are getting shorter and we often find ourselves driving home in the dark. Its sinking in that the summer is over and it’s time to settle in for the long winter.
For people who live in the Northern Hemisphere, the change in autumn means more hours of darkness and colder weather, which keeps many people indoors. This can contribute to depression and a host of sleep disorders.
Any change in your sleeping pattern can be difficult to deal with and can even encourage the development of sleep disorders, although the change in the fall seems easier because that is when you are actually gaining an hour as opposed to in the spring when your body will feel like an hour has been taken away. Here you can just go to bed early and catch an extra hour of sleep.
Or you could do what most people likely do and use the extra hour to stay up later. Just figure out what is most comfortable for you and do it. If you do choose to stay up though be careful not to overdo it. You may take in stimulus like TV, email, or video games or whatever.
These distractions can easily cause you to stay up way past that extra hour you get when we fall back and you’ll end up coming into work more sleep deprived than ever. Again, the key is to find what works best for you, don’t think that there is some set rule about how to deal with this.
Maybe you don’t want to even set your clock back until the next morning when you wake up. Then you can wake up as normal and set the new time and hang out for an hour before work, or before whatever it is that you will be doing for the day.
People who have existing sleep disorders may be adhering to a frajile sleep schedule that helps to minimize symptoms. In that case you would want to continue to adhere to that schedule as closely as possible.
So waiting until the next morning to reset your clocks may work well for people with an existing sleep disorder. Other than that I would suggest that you take every opportunity to get in sunlight during the fall and winter months if you live in a part of the world that will be getting reduced sunlight. Artificial light can even be used if necessary.
Recognize any depression symptoms that you may be feeling and seek out medical assistance if necessary. Also, try to maintain a consistent exercise and sleep routine once the time has switched over. Be aware of your body and the ways that the changing seasons and the changes to your routine can effect it.
If you can do that you should be in for another cosy winter – break out the eggnog and fruitcake!
- License: Creative Commons image source
The author of this post Serge Kozak is the founder of Edictive. Edictive is a cloud based film time management application.