The dread sets in around 4 p.m., as the sun inches closer to the horizon and starts to wind down for the day. The end of Daylight Saving Time every fall can feel like something out of a Stephen King novel. We decided to talk to some experts about how to cope with the time change and the dwindling daylight. “I’ll pass, with thanks,” Mr. King himself replied via email, “but you can say that the change back to Standard Time always feels to me like the death of the year.”
As the clocks fall back, we find ourselves facing darker evenings, and our internal clocks must adapt. For many of us, this shift can be challenging, as it feels like a daunting task to become a morning person during these darker months. However, there are strategies you can employ to make the most of the morning light and embrace the beauty of early hours.
Embrace the Power of Morning Light
The morning light has a unique charm that can set the tone for your entire day. Whether you are an early riser or not, there’s something magical about those moments when the world is slowly awakening. The soft, golden hues of the morning sun can be invigorating, and they offer several advantages that you won’t find during the evening.
- Natural Light and Circadian Rhythms: Morning light is rich in natural blue light, which can help regulate your circadian rhythms. Exposure to morning light can enhance your alertness during the day and improve your sleep quality at night. It’s like resetting your internal clock to the new, darker schedule.
- Vitamin D Production: Sunlight in the morning is an excellent source of vitamin D, which is vital for your overall health. A few minutes of exposure to morning sunlight can boost your vitamin D levels, benefiting your immune system, bone health, and mood.
- Productivity Boost: The morning light is often associated with increased productivity and creativity. It provides a serene environment for focused work, meditation, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee in peace. Many renowned artists, writers, and entrepreneurs swear by the early morning hours for their most inspired moments.
How to Make the Most of Morning Light
Now that we understand the significance of morning light, let’s explore how you can make the most of it and become a morning person even in the darkest months:
1. Adjust Your Sleep Schedule Gradually:
Instead of abruptly shifting your wake-up time, try adjusting it gradually. Move your bedtime and wake-up time 15-30 minutes earlier each day until you reach your desired morning routine. This will help your body adapt without the shock of a sudden change.
2. Create a Relaxing Evening Routine:
A calming bedtime ritual can prepare your body for restful sleep. Avoid electronic screens at least an hour before bed, and engage in relaxing activities such as reading, stretching, or taking a warm bath.
3. Maximize Your Exposure to Morning Light:
Position your bed or workspace near a window with a view of the morning sun. If possible, take a short walk or sit outside for a few minutes during the early hours. This will expose you to the natural light and help synchronize your internal clock.
4. Limit Evening Exposure to Artificial Light:
Artificial light, especially the blue light emitted by screens, can disrupt your circadian rhythms. Consider using blue light filters on your devices, or wear blue light-blocking glasses in the evening to minimize the impact of artificial light on your sleep quality.
5. Stay Consistent on Weekends:
Consistency is key when it comes to resetting your internal clock. Try to maintain a consistent wake-up time, even on weekends. While the temptation to sleep in may be strong, it can disrupt your sleep schedule and make it harder to adapt to the morning light.
6. Morning Rituals:
Create a morning routine that motivates you to get out of bed. Whether it’s a relaxing meditation, a brisk workout, or a delicious breakfast, having something to look forward to in the morning can make the early hours more enjoyable.
7. Stay Hydrated and Eat a Healthy Breakfast:
Start your day with a glass of water to rehydrate your body after a night’s rest. Follow it up with a nutritious breakfast that provides you with energy to kickstart your day. A balanced breakfast can also improve your mood and concentration.
8. Set Goals and Prioritize Tasks:
Take advantage of your morning focus and productivity. Make a to-do list and prioritize your most important tasks for the day. Accomplishing these tasks early can leave you with a sense of achievement and motivation.
9. Celebrate Small Wins:
Acknowledge and reward yourself for sticking to your new morning routine. Whether it’s a simple pat on the back or a small treat, positive reinforcement can help make early rising a habit.
10. Stay Mindful and Patient:
Adapting to a new schedule takes time. Be patient with yourself and stay mindful of your progress. Some days may be easier than others, but consistency is key.
The transition to becoming a morning person after the time change may not happen overnight, but with dedication and the right strategies, you can make the most of the morning light even during the darkest months. Embrace the serenity and opportunities that the early hours provide, and you’ll find that being a morning person can be a rewarding and fulfilling way to start your day. Remember, the morning light offers a unique beauty and a sense of renewal that can make the changing of the clocks an opportunity for growth and positive change in your life.