By Marygrace Taylor
Daylight saving time is right around the corner. And once again, your news feed is flooded with stories about how the annual time change is bad for your health.
We know. One measly hour of missed sleep might not seem like a big deal. But if you’re like most people, you probably turn your clocks forward without giving it much thought—only to end up feeling surprisingly crummy for days afterwards.
Why? Because daylight is your brain’s signal to stop pumping out melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. When the sun is up for longer, your natural sleep-wake cycle can get thrown off track. As a result, you might suddenly find yourself having trouble falling asleep at night and staying awake during the day.
Which, no surprise, can spell some potentially serious consequences. So let this be the year where you plan ahead, so you don’t feel like a zombie all week. Here are 5 common pitfalls you always make after DST, and how to correct course. (Lose up to 25 pounds in 2 months—and look more radiant than ever—with Prevention‘s new Younger In 8 Weeks plan!)
Humanity’s collective grogginess means that there’s an uptick in fatal car accidents during the first week of daylight saving time, according to one University of Colorado study. That’s scary stuff, so make sure you’re paying full attention when you’re behind the wheel—absolutely no texting or multitasking. If you’re too zonked to drive carefully, get a ride with someone else. (Can’t sleep? Here’s what 7 sleep experts do when they can’t doze off.)
You skip your usual yoga class.
Sleep deprivation and stress are proven diet wreckers. So if you suddenly find yourself craving a burger and fries or a hot fudge sundae, well, that’s sort of normal. But if you’re smart, it’s entirely possible to stay on track. (Try these 7 meal-prep tricks nutritionists swear by.) Figure out your weekly menu ahead of time and stock up on ingredients, so you have the makings of a clean meal on hand.
If you don’t usually leave work until 6 PM or later, this might be the first time in months that you’ve walked into your home while the sun was still shining. So why are you continuing to hole up on the couch and watch Netflix all night long? If you aren’t eating dinner outside, taking a post-dinner stroll, or just hanging out on the porch while you chat with your neighbors (even while wearing your winter coat, if necessary), you’re doing spring wrong.
Source: Prevention | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide