Spring is getting closer, you can feel it in the air. I even feel a boost of excitement by the few extra minutes of light at the end of the day. You’re exhilarated by the thought of early morning walks and, even though that precious hour gained four months ago is gone, summer is almost here.
Often the expectation of summer blooming outside the window the very next day is shattered by that lingering winter and a feeling of exhaustion instead of glee that can take some time to totally shed.
Overall, certain people may ‘suffer’ more than others.
Shift Workers – One of the biggest challenges for people who do shift work is getting enough sleep. The internal body clock, the circadian rhythm, is directly linked to daylight and darkness. Already being sensitive to time disruptions, they could surely ﬁnd the time change adds to their troubles, as digestion and hormone balances could take longer to adjust.
Children – Often more sensitive to seasonal changes than adults, children may seem irritable and have more trouble getting to sleep. Sometimes the extra light may keep them up wanting more play time. In my experience, the best thing to do is to let them adjust to time and seasonal changes at their own pace, with some extra patience and hugs. Remember, you’re feeling it too. The more, you ﬁght them, the longer it will take for them to sync up and get with the program.
Seniors – At the best of times, seniors can have issues with the time of day. “Is it lunch time, or dinner”? An extra hour lost or gained can lead them to experience a sense of confusion. In some cases, this can lead to harmful situations, if medications are missed or taken at the wrong time. If you are a caregiver, or involved with the daily well-being of a senior, be sure to keep extra close tabs on their schedules when the time change kicks in.
Go with the ﬂow and realize you may be a little overtired. Manage your daily stress by avoiding major decision making when you can. Allow yourself extra time to travel, eat and lounge in bed (set two alarms for a couple of days). Don’t expect too much from yourself just because the morning light beckons. Drink more water, plan a relaxing evening and power nap when you can, as just a 20-minute nap can increase alertness and motor skills.