On March 12, 2017, at 2 a.m., 48 of the 50 states in the United States will spring ahead. What are your plans to celebrate? Yes, you will lose one hour of sleep, but this means we are one step closer to warm summer evenings with those beautiful, late sunsets. One step closer to lingering at outdoor cafes because it’s just too nice to go inside. One step closer to packing the bulky sweaters up until fall and slipping into sundresses and shorts.
Doesn’t all this deserve a celebration? We think it does. Here are a few suggestions.
Start out by Taking a Nap to Make up for That Lost Hour
There is actually a science as to how to take a good nap. A well-timed nap can make you more productive at work and at home. Our advice includes:
- Keep it short. A 20- to 30-minute nap is the ideal pick-me-up. Longer naps can lead to postsleep grogginess that can be difficult to shake off. In addition, longer naps can interfere with your nighttime sleep rhythms.
- Find a dark, quiet and cool place to nap. You will nod off faster if there is less noise and light. Your quality of sleep will be better and more rejuvenating.
- Plan your nap. If you wait until your daytime sleepiness kicks in, it could be unsafe to do things like driving. A regular naptime will help you get to sleep faster and wake up quicker.
- Coordinate your caffeine and your nap. You don’t want to spend time trying to get to sleep because you had a cup of coffee an hour ago. It’s best to take a nap immediately after having coffee, before the caffeine hits your system. This way, 20 or 30 minutes later when the caffeine takes effect, you will wake right up.
Use Spring Forward as an Incentive to Renew Waning New Year’s Resolutions
Since daylight savings is less than three months into the new year, it’s just enough time to have lost steam on your resolutions but not so much time that you still can’t get back on track.
- If your goal was to lose 15 pounds before Memorial Day, that is still possible at this point. You have 11 weeks until the unofficial start of summer and swimsuit season.
- If you goal was to get more exercise, this may be an even better time to commit. With the weather getting nicer, you will have more options to add in outdoor activities instead of only going to the gym.
- It’s the ideal time to renew your resolution to get more organized. You need to get all your financial information together for tax season, anyway. Take some extra time to set up a system for 2017’s documents so next year’s tax time is a breeze. You also need to rotate your winter and spring wardrobe, so pull out the pieces you rarely wore and send them off to charity.
Don’t Forget the Not-So-Glamorous Tasks
This is a good time to check off tasks that should be completed twice a year when the clocks change:
- The International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends you change the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year. An easy way to make sure you remember is to stick to the spring forward and fall back days of daylight savings.
- To get the best wear out of a mattress, it is recommended you flip it two to four times per year. By flipping the same days you change your smoke detector batteries, you will at least meet the minimal suggested number of flips.
- During the summer, you want to switch your ceiling fans to a counterclockwise motion so it blows the air straight down. The warmer it is, the higher the speed should be. During winter, your fans should run at a low speed in a clockwise direction.
Whether you take a nap, recommit or just check off some maintenance tasks, don’t forget to do something to celebrate daylight savings on March 12.