- Laura Bridgman, ND
Fall Back / Spring Ahead
In the United States, daylight saving time (DST) happens on the first second Sunday in March at 2:00 AM; each time zone switches when 2 AM comes in their zone. The time reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the European Union the date for Daylight savings is two weeks later than in the U.S., and it begins at 1:00 AM.
In the U.S. DST law was enacted in March 1918 for the purpose of saving energy and gaining daylight in the morning during work hours, and especially to save energy during the wars. The daylight is more of a benefit in the northern states than in the south during their very hot season when they might prefer to be awake during cooler hours. And, of course, nowadays many people live in artificial indoor climates. Our farmers still live a lot of their day outdoors, though!
It usually takes all of us a few days to adjust to an hour’s difference in time. How can we cope with this bump in our schedule most gracefully? Obviously the first step might be to approach the change with a positive attitude, think of how helpful it is to our farmer friends, appreciate the temporary increase of light in the morning. We are fortunate in Maine to have four different and glorious seasons, each of which there are reasons to appreciate and love. Each has its lovely aspects and transitions to the next as the night follows the day. Each one bears a great benefit to nature.
How to ease the transition to daylight saving time? Maybe it is possible for you to change your morning waking time by half and hour for a few days so that you don’t endure the shock of a whole hour of difference all at once. Since it happens on a Sunday, you could arrange to go to bed an hour earlier that Saturday. Try a strong cup of chamomile tea on Saturday evening or take some Melatonin an hour before bedtime. Do something that is nurturing for you and your family, maybe an evening shower or an Epsom salt footbath for half an hour (Magnesium sulphate). If you have children, you could read a story about sleeping together, such as Time for Bed, Sleep Like a Tiger, Sleepy Places, in which you create routines to ease yourself into resting.
Take yourself gently by the hand, and search for answers if you have trouble sleeping; probably DST is not more of a problem than every night’s insomnia? Sit still and alert, and search for answers to why you can’t allow yourself to sleep deeply for a few more hours or a few less. Explore what this means for you. For many of us, winter or the time of less light in the northern hemisphere, is a time to rest more. We can enjoy less busy time and more quiet time. Both are vital to a good life.