Spring is dawning and more daylight means more time to explore. Technically, we have the same amount of daylight in the 24 hour period, however, with the time change, there is extra evening daylight which gives many of us extra time to get out and be active after work and dinner. For you early morning risers, this is not in your favor as it will be darker in the mornings and you will actually lose an hour of precious zzzzz’s this weekend. One way to help yourself this weekend is to start preparing your body for the loss of sleep. To keep your sleep schedule on track through the time change, studies recommend that you gradually push your bedtime earlier each night the week before the time change. Just going to bed 10 – 15 minutes earlier each day, on the days leading up to the time change, can make a world of difference in how your body handles it. This is what the astronauts do preparing for space travel.
When and why did Daylight Savings Time Start anyway? Ben Franklin is apparently the first person to suggest the concept of daylight savings. He realized it would be beneficial to make better use of daylight but he didn’t really know how to implement it. It wasn’t until World War I that daylight savings were realized on a grand scale. Germany was the first state to adopt the time changes, to reduce artificial lighting and save coal for the war effort. Soon, friends and foes followed suit. In 1918, the U.S. a federal law standardized the yearly start and end of daylight saving time but made it optional. During World War II the U.S. made daylight saving time mandatory for the whole country, as a way to save wartime resources. At the end of World War II, daylight saving time became optional for U.S. states again. Its beginning and end have shifted but all but two U.S. States still recognize it.
Unfortunately, in recent years several studies have suggested that daylight saving time doesn’t actually save energy—and might even result in a net loss. On a positive note though, a nationwide American study, shows that during Daylight Savings Time television watching is substantially reduced and outdoor behaviors like jogging, walking, or going to the park are substantially increased which increases the overall health and well-being of most people. So whether you are for or against Daylight Savings Time, unless you live and Arizona or Hawaii, make the most of your extra evening daylight hours and get out there and be active and healthy!
Bodyrich Fitness Company
Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutritionist