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How to lose an hour without losing your mind

when is daylight saving time

When is Daylight Saving Time? That day we’ve been dreading all winter because it means losing a precious hour of sleep falls on March 12, 2017, this year. It was a day first observed in Germany in 1916, when the clocks were turned forward to take advantage of the daylight and conserve electricity.

Daylight Saving Time: Why are we doing it?

when is daylight saving time

Funny enough, the idea that Daylight Saving Time was implemented to benefit farmers in the U.S. is a common myth. In 1918, farmers in the agricultural industry in the United States opposed the time change when it was enacted as a wartime measure. Farmers went by the sun and not by the clock, so Daylight Saving Time disrupted their natural schedule.

These farmers may have been onto something. Recent research indicates that springtime Daylight Saving Time may be the most dangerous as we have a hard time adjusting to losing an hour of sleep. In 1996, The New England Journal of Medicine reported a post-Daylight Saving Time increase in car accidents. And a 2013 study published in The American Journal of Cardiology suggested a higher risk of heart attack following the time change in 2013.

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While we’re not on the road to repealing this springtime time loss just yet, there’s no doubt that a sudden turning forward of the clocks can be jarring to the body and to the mind. Putting some thought into how you’re going to jump this time change hurdle could make for a much smoother adjustment this year (especially for those of us who aren’t morning people to begin with).

Let’s do this: Our top 10 tips to make Daylight Saving Time more bearable

when is daylight saving time

No one said it was going to be easy, but some of our favorite Daylight Saving Time hacks can make the transition less hard:

  1. Transition gradually. The Better Sleep Council recommends going to bed 15 minutes early several days before the big change. (This tip works well for kids who may be extra-sensitive to the time change.)
  2. Adjust your lighting. Start dimming lights to set the mood in the evening before sleep, and open curtains first thing in the morning to let natural light in.
  3. Cut back. You’ve been meaning to do it anyway, right? At the very least, reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake for two days leading up to the time change — and make it a practice not to drink caffeine after 3 PM.
  4. Take a hot bath. If you have a hard time calming down before bed, especially when an earlier bedtime is involved, calm your body first. A hot bath raises body temperature, making it easier to fall asleep as your temperature naturally lowers after.
  5. Wake up at your regular time. It may be tempting to sleep in on the day of the time change, but try to resist the urge. Waking up at your normal time, even if you didn’t sleep well the night before, can cue your body to its new schedule.
  6. Get up and get moving. Exercising — and exposing yourself to natural light — first thing in the morning after turning the clocks forward can help wake your body up and improve energy.
  7. Eat well. Sleep deprivation could cause you to eat more calories, according to a 2016 review from the King’s College London. In the days following the time change, focus on eating fresh, nutrient-dense foods that will fill you up without interfering with your sleep like a heavy meal would.
  8. Make your room sleep-friendly. Dark curtains, clean sheets, a cool temperature, comfortable pillows, and an eye mask, if needed, can set the scene for relaxation and encourage deeper sleep.
  9. Get teens to bed early. Not only does The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend that adolescents get about nine hours of sleep a night, but their 2015 research confirmed that high schoolers are likely to lose sleep on the school nights following Daylight Saving Time. With the potential for a decline in cognitive function that could affect schoolwork and driving, teens are especially vulnerable to the effects of the time change. For kids and teens alike in the week before the change, enforcing a bedtime and taking away devices can help.
  10. Give yourself a break. A poor reaction to Daylight Saving Time happens to the best of us. If you find yourself grumpy after the time change: Be nice to yourself, set more realistic work deadlines, and schedule in a lunchtime nap when you can. (Remember to keep your daytime naps shorter than 20 minutes, as The Better Sleep Council advises.)

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10 springtime time-savers could put an hour (or more) back in your day

when is daylight saving time

If it seems like everyone on your Facebook feed is complaining about the time change, there are a few states having the last laugh. Each U.S. state and territory is responsible for making their own decision on Daylight Saving Time — which means that Arizona, excluding the Navajo Nation; Hawaii; the Virgin Islands; Puerto Rico; and other territories don’t turn their clocks forward.

Whether or not you’re losing an hour this spring, you can still use a few handy time-saving hacks to get back an hour of your time:

  1. Pack your work/school bag and set out your clothes the night before.
Time saved: 15 minutes
  1. Bundle errands in with your morning or evening commute to save both time and fuel.
Time saved: 15-30 minutes
  1. Grocery shop on Mondays or Tuesdays — the slowest shopping days of the week.
Time saved: 15-30 minutes
  1. Shop online for specialty and bulk items whenever possible.
Time saved: 30 minutes
  1. Double the recipes you make Monday through Wednesday and freeze half for the rest of the week.

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Time saved: 15-30 minutes
  1. Use a productivity app to keep yourself organized at work and at home.
Time saved: 15 minutes
  1. Use smartphone voice recognition to text or email instead of typing a message.
Time saved: 15 minutes
  1. Create a to-do list for tomorrow at the end of each workday.
Time saved: 15 minutes
  1. Multitask when it makes sense — like folding laundry while watching TV or exercising with friends instead of meeting for coffee.
Time saved: 30 minutes
  1. Set an alarm (or use the new iPhone bedtime feature) to get to bed 30 minutes early so you aren’t dragging all day long.
Time saved: 30 minutes

Saving time and money is what we’re all about. Contact us today, and one of our friendly loan officers can help you get prequalified for a home loan so that you know how much house you can afford. Getting prequalified first has helped our clients get into their new homes faster.

For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.

Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.