Many of us dread the end of daylight savings time. On one hand, it’s totally understandable. All summer long, we reveled in warm evenings that lingered until 9pm. Now we’re faced with cold, dark winter nights that begin at 5pm. BUT . . . what if we could use the end of daylight savings time to instill better habits?
Often with the switch to daylight savings time and back again, we struggle to reset our body clocks to match the clocks on our walls, desks, and wrists. But the end of daylight savings time provides us with an opportunity to align with nature and instill healthier habits: an earlier bedtime and waking up earlier.
On Sunday, November 4th, chances are you will wake about an hour earlier than usual. And on Sunday evening, you’ll most likely want to go to bed earlier. Don’t fight it! Go to bed earlier. Wake up earlier. Your body will thank you.
Most of us go to bed too late; we should be asleep by 10 pm in order to get the best rest and allow our bodies to do the internal cleaning they need to do while we sleep. We also wake too late. Then we rush around in the morning trying to get ourselves, our kids, and our spouses out the door in time, and we wonder why we’re stressed out before we even get to work.
Here are some other really good reasons to wake up early:
1. Quiet time to yourself. Many people tell me they use the time after the kids/spouse/etc. have gone to bed as their quiet time alone. But by doing that, they’re depriving their bodies of deep rest and rejuvenation that only happens between the hours of 10pm and 2 am. Shifting that time to the early morning not only provides an opportunity for deep rest, but provides that much-needed quiet time during a time of day when it can do the most good.
2. A positive start to your day. Waking early provides you with an opportunity to start your day in a way that centers you, grounds you, focuses your mind, and wards off stress. Our minds are most expansive in the early morning hours. If you start your day with prayer, meditation, connecting with nature, or any mindfulness practice, you set yourself up for an easeful, productive day.
3. Time for exercise. A little extra time in the morning is the perfect opportunity to take a walk, do a little yoga, or indulge in a full-blown workout. You’ll shake off the dull energy of sleep, reduce stiffness or soreness in the body, rev up your metabolism, and set your energy level for the day.
4. Jump start your productivity. Sometimes all we need to do to dive into productivity mode is to accomplish one small task. Something as simple as making your bed can catapult us into a day checking things off our to-do lists. If you don’t have a to-do list, make that your jump-start task. Other things we can do: meal plan or meal prep for lunch or supper; respond to an email you’ve been putting off; put away dishes from the night before.
So . . . if you struggle to wake up early, if you’re a night owl who longs to be an early bird, embrace the end of daylight savings time! Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you. And you might just end up a more productive, less stressed, healthier version of you.
See you at the studio!