Whether you are a morning person or not, the time change — which is March 12 — can wreak havoc on your routine. Here are a few tips on how to navigate feeling alive and human while losing an hour of sleep in the transition to Daylight Savings Time. 

The medical professionals at University of Colorado Boulder write that “it’s better to stick to your normal sleeping and waking schedule. For instance, if you go to bed at 10 p.m. before the time changes, continue to go to bed at that time.” Additionally, they advise “As the days get longer, it’s a great time to get outside and soak up sun rays and vitamin D. Make time each morning or afternoon to walk outside in the sunlight. Being outdoors can provide natural energy and help sync your circadian rhythm to the new time.” I’ll let you read the rest of the advice yourself by following the above link, but I also thought I’d share my advice, in case it’s helpful. 

First and foremost, it’s possible to just roll with it until you adjust. At some point, your body will reset and get back into rhythm.

Second, if that’s too painful — and you haven’t already— consider starting a morning routine. To begin, do something simple like placing a glass or bottle of water near your bed at night. When you wake up the next morning, stretch a little while still in bed, sit up and drink the water. Even a seemingly small habit or routine like drinking a glass of water gives your body cues as to what’s next. Aka getting up and starting the day.

(It’s also important to rehydrate in the morning, so win-win.)

Personally, I’m not sure how long it took for the routine of drinking a glass of water as soon as I awakened became habitual for me, but eventually it did and now I don’t even think about it. This and other “automations” that I’ve added to my routine over time have made a big difference in how my mornings and the rest of my day play out. But starting small is key. If it’s not a stretch and water, perhaps something else will work for you. 

Experiment and do what makes sense for you. Eventually though, you’ll adjust to the time change. Fingers crossed that it happens well before we fall back again.    

Do you have a tip for adjusting to the time change? Email melanie@myneworleans.com

(Note: An earlier version of this article published on Nov. 11, 2022.)